Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Watch Live

KPBS Evening Edition

Saturday Marks End Of San Diego's Prescription Drug Take-Back Program

Saturday Marks End Of San Diego's Prescription Drug Take-Back Program

The County Medical Examiner says the leading cause of accidental death in San Diego is prescription drugs — primarily caused by people who overdose on pain medication.

On Saturday, more than 40 locations across the county will be accepting expired prescription drugs in what could be San Diego’s last take-back event of this kind. The Prescription Drug Take Back program in San Diego and Imperial counties started in 2009 with only six drop-off sites. Now more than 40 sites will be open Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“This has been a great program in San Diego County. Just through these take back programs alone we're brought back over 33 tons of medication over the last three and a half to four years," Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent Tom Lenox said. "It’s amazing the stuff that's out there in people’s homes and medicine cabinets."


It’s estimated 40 people die every day due to the misuse or abuse of these drugs.

The public has been encouraged to drop them off at San Diego County Sheriff's stations around the county, since flushing drugs can contaminate the water supply and drugs put in the trash can end up in the wrong hands.

Starting Oct. 8 hospital clinics with onsite pharmacies will be able to collect unused drugs anytime.

There's list of drop-off locations online at All of the unused drugs are incinerated or burned. The DEA has no plans for anymore "Take Back" programs after Saturday due to the new regulations.