STANFORD, Calif.—In support of National Take Back Prescriptions Drugs
Day on Saturday, April 28, physicians in the Pain
Management Division at Stanford Hospital & Clinics are
urging patients to help prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their
homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted
prescription drugs. Doctors are encouraging patients to bring their
old medications for disposal at designated "Take Back"
collection sites around the Bay Area.
"Storing unwanted prescription drugs at home or disposing of
them in the trash or down the toilet may seem harmless, but the
reality is that by doing so you could be putting the health of your
family at risk and potentially releasing hazardous chemicals into our
said Sean Mackey, M.D.,
Ph.D., chief of the Pain Management Division at Stanford Hospital
and associate professor of anesthesia at Stanford University School of
Medicine. "I urge all patients to put safety first by taking
their old drugs to their nearest collection site."
Organized by the Drug Enforcement Agency in partnership with state
and local law enforcement agencies, the service is free and
anonymous—no questions asked. The public can find a nearby collection
site by visiting www.dea.gov, clicking on the "Got
Drugs?" icon and following the links to a database, where they
enter their zip code.
This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health
issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible
to diversion, misuse and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in
the United States are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental
poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.
Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are
obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine
cabinet. "Teenagers and young adults are some of the most
vulnerable to the dangers of drug abuse", said Meredith
Barad, M.D., a Stanford Pain Management physician. "By taking
unused prescription drugs out of the medicine cabinets, we are
reducing exposure and thereby reducing the risks of addiction."
In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for
disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or
throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.
Last October, Americans turned in 377,080 pounds—188.5 tons—of
prescription drugs at over 5,300 sites operated by the DEA and nearly
4,000 state and local law enforcement partners. In its three previous
Take Back events, the DEA and its partners took in almost 1 million
pounds—nearly 500 tons—of pills.
In the Stanford/Palo Alto and surrounding areas, collection sites
will be provided on April 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. through these
local agencies at the following locations:
Agency: East Palo Alto Police Department
Collection Site: Best
Buy, 1751 East Bayshore Road, East Palo Alto, CA 94303
Agency: City Of Mountain View Police/Fire Depts.
Collection Site: City
Of Mountain View Police/Fire Administration, 1000 Villa Street,
Mountain View, CA 94041
Agency: Redwood City Police Department
Collection Site: Redwood City Police Department, 1301 Maple St.,
Redwood City, CA 94061
Agency: Santa Clara County Sheriff Office
Collection Site: Sheriff's West Valley Substation, 1601 S. De Anza
Blvd, Cupertino, CA 95014
Media Contact: Linda Apeles, 650-725-6625, firstname.lastname@example.org