Public Safety

More than 17,000 Pounds of Rx Drugs Are Off the Streets

Picture of a Sheriff's Prescription Drug Drop Box with medication bottles on top.

The totals are in for the recent National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, and San Diegans turned in 8,411 pounds of unwanted or expired medications at 42 drop-off sites. Additionally, local law enforcement agencies provided the Drug Enforcement Agency with another 8,965 pounds of prescription drugs collected at year-round drop boxes.

“San Diego and Imperial County residents came out in full force on Take Back Day to do their part in ending the opioid crisis,” said Special Agent in Charge Karen Flowers. “By removing unwanted prescription drugs from their homes, these residents may have saved someone from becoming addicted to a prescription medication. Thank you to all who participated in this free and anonymous event.”

The event took place on April 27. Across the nation, nearly 469 tons of potentially dangerous unwanted drugs were collected and destroyed. This year, the DEA also set new records for the numbers of law enforcement partners – more than 5,000 local, state, tribal and federal agencies– and for the number of collection sites, with nearly 6,400.

Since the semiannual event was first organized in 2010, more than 5,900 tons have been collected.

If you have unwanted or expired medications you would like to turn in but were unable to attend the event, you can still bring them to any Sheriff’s station or substation during normal business hours.

If you or someone you know has a substance use disorder, you can speak with a trained counselor, call the County’s Access and Crisis Line at (888) 724-7240. Drug treatment is a component of Live Well San Diego, the County’s vision for healthy, safe and thriving residents and communities.

Yvette Urrea Moe is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact