Public Safety

Safely Dispose of Old Prescription Drugs on Take-Back Day

picture with lots of prescription drugs

While the number of prescription drug deaths has recently leveled off in San Diego County, misuse of medication remains a danger. And across the United States, drug overdoses are now the leading cause of injury-related deaths. Prescription drugs, opioid painkillers in particular, are a big part of what the Drug Enforcement Agency calls an epidemic of addiction, overdose and death.

Many of those drug abusers interviewed admit they get drugs from unwitting friends’ and family members’ medicine cabinets.

Cleaning out old prescription drugs from medicine cabinets, kitchen drawers, and bedside tables reduces accidents, thefts, and the misuse and abuse of these medicines, including the opioid painkillers that accounted for 20,808 drug overdoses—78 a day—in the country in 2014, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dispose of them properly during the Drug Enforcement Agency’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day this weekend. Some 40 sites in San Diego County are participating in the event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 22.

This service is free and anonymous. Pills and other solids, like patches, will be collected, but no liquids or sharps, such as needles or lancets, will be accepted.

Help fight the epidemic of substance abuse and addiction by removing these items from your home.

The Sheriff, Probation and District Attorney are participating at the locations below or see the full list.

  • Alpine Sheriff’s Station, 2751 Alpine Blvd.
  • Fallbrook Sheriff’s Substation, 388 East Alvarado St.
  • Hall of Justice, 330 W. Broadway, San Diego (District Attorney)
  • Imperial Beach Sheriff’s Substation, 845 Imperial Beach Blvd.
  • Juvenile Hall, 2801 Meadow Lark Drive, San Diego (Probation)
  • Kaiser Permanente, 400 Craven Road, San Marcos (Sheriff)
  • Lakeside Walgreen’s parking lot, 9728 Winter Gardens Blvd. (Sheriff)
  • Lemon Grove Sheriff’s Substation, 3240 Main St.
  • Poway Sheriff’s Station, 13100 Bowron Road
  • Ramona Albertson’s parking lot, 1459 Main St. (Sheriff)
  • Rancho San Diego Sheriff’s Station, 11486 Campo Road
  • Santee Walgreens parking lot, 10512 Mission Gorge Road (Sheriff)
  • Scripps Encinitas Hospital, 354 Santa Fe Drive (Sheriff)
  • Valley Center Elementary School, 28751 Cole Grade Road (Sheriff)
  • Vista Walgreens parking lot, 310 Sycamore Ave. (Sheriff)

You can also drop off unwanted prescriptions in designated boxes at any Sheriff’s station or substation or in the lobby of the County Administration Center at 1600 Pacific Highway in San Diego during normal business hours.


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