Sheriffs to hold drug take-back day

Drug Take Back event participants stand beside boxes of returned drugs. Photo courtesy SCV Sheriff Station.

Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station officials are hosting a drug-take-back day Sept. 13 from 8 a.m. to noon. 

Sheriff’s deputies plan to accept any unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medication from residents and ensure that the medication is disposed of properly. The station will also accept pet medication. The drugs will then be escorted to a secure site and disposed of in an incinerator.

“We just want to encourage the community to safely dispose of their unwanted medications because it helps prevent them from getting into the wrong hands or affecting the environment,” said Shirley Miller, public information officer for the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station. “Sometimes, people think they can just flush that medication down the toilet as safe disposal, but studies have shown that the medicine actually gets into our water sources. Other times, people will just put the medication in their regular trash, but then you’re possibly putting them into the hands of children or people who would abuse those drugs.”

In order to streamline the process, deputies will stand outside of the department office lobby and are available to accept drop-offs anonymously and without residents even needing to get out of their cars. Miller said liquid medication will not be accepted due to its messy nature, nor will sharps, due to safety concerns for the deputies. There will be a bin available for those who wish to dispose of sharps themselves. 

Miller said a key part of the program is its guarantee of anonymity, and the station will also accept illegal narcotics.

“This program runs on a policy of no questions asked, so if someone comes by during the appointed time and drops off illicit narcotics, there will be no criminal consequences,” Miller said. 

The drug-take-back day program was instituted in October 2017 due to safety concerns. Previously, the station collected drugs in outdoor bins, but deputies kept finding needles and unidentified liquids. The last take-back event was held on April 13, and over 500 pounds of medications were collected. 

If residents are unable to make it Sept. 13, the Santa Clarita Sheriff’s Station will hold another event on Oct. 26 in observation of the Drug Enforcement Agency’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.

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