SAN FRANCISCO—On Saturday, April 30, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the San Francisco Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will allow the public the opportunity to get rid of unwanted prescription pills that are expired, unused and unwanted.

According to a press release from the SFPD, individuals can bring such medications for disposal to any of the San Francisco Police Departments District Stations throughout San Francisco. The service is free and anonymous, and no questions will be asked.

The aim of the event is to address public safety and public health. Medicines that stay in home cabinets can be susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States are high, as well as the rate of accidental poisonings and overdoses from such drugs. Studies have indicated that a high number of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including the home medicine cabinet.

Americans have been informed that getting rid of unused medicines by flushing down the toilet or tossing in the trash pose safety and health hazards.

Four days after the first event, Congress passed the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010, which amends the Controlled Substances Act to allow an “ultimate user” of controlled substance medications to dispose of them by delivering them to entities authorized by the Attorney General to accept them.

The Act also allows the Attorney General to authorize long term care facilities to dispose of their residents’ controlled substances in certain instances. The DEA is drafting regulations to implement the Act. Local law enforcement agencies like the San Francisco Police Department and the DEA will continue to hold prescription drug take-back events approximately every six months. No intra-venous solutions, needles, inhalers or patch style medications will be accepted. Illicit substances like methamphetamines, marijuana and ETC are not part of the initiative.

Drop off locations for the event include the following stations:

  • Central Police Station, 766 Vallejo Street. 415-315-2400
  • Southern Police Station, 850 Bryant Street. 415-553-1371
  • Bayview Police Station, 201 Williams Street. 415-671-2300
  • Mission Police Station, 630 Valencia Street. 415-558-5400
  • Northern Police Station, 1125 Fillmore Street. 415-614-3400
  • Park Police Station, 1899 Waller Street. 415-242-3000
  • Richmond Police Station, 461- 6th Avenue. 415-666-8000
  • Ingleside Police Station, #1 John V. Young Lane. 415-404-4000
  • Taraval Police Station, 2345- 24th Avenue. 415-759-3100
  • Tenderloin Police Station, 301 Eddy Street. 415-345-7300

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By Casey Jacobs