Public Safety

Safely Dispose of Unwanted Prescription Drugs

Mixture of various prescription pills turned in to Sheriff.

By not promptly and properly disposing of unwanted and expired prescription medications in your home, you are taking a chance that they could be stolen or abused, by either a family member or visitors.

You can turn them in to be safely destroyed at over 40 locations on Prescription Drug Take Back Day this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Drop-off locations include a dozen San Diego County Sheriff stations, San Diego County Probation’s Juvenile Hall and the San Diego District Attorney’s Office at the Hall of Justice. This is a free service and is anonymous. Liquids and sharps are not accepted.

Prescription drug abuse among juveniles and adults continues to be a problem in San Diego County. The County’s 2016 Prescription Drug Abuse Report Card shows 248 fatalities in 2015. The report also showed there were was a 1 percent increase in 11th graders reporting prescription drug abuse: 14 percent in 2015. Adult arrestees who reported misusing prescription drugs also increased to 42 percent in 2015, according to the report.

The following County locations will be accepting prescription medications:

  • Alpine Sheriff’s Station, 2751 Alpine Boulevard
  • Poway Sheriff’s Station, 13100 Bowron Road
  • Encinitas (Sheriff) – Scripps Encinitas Hospital, 354 Santa Fe Drive
  • Ramona (Sheriff) – Albertson’s Parking Lot, 1459 Main Street
  • Fallbrook Sheriff’s Substation, 388 East Alvarado Street
  • San Marcos (Sheriff) – Kaiser Permanente, 400 Craven Road
  • Imperial Beach Sheriff’s Substation, 845 Imperial Beach Boulevard
  • Santee (Sheriff) – Walgreens Parking Lot, 9305 Mission Gorge Road
  • Lakeside (Sheriff) – Walgreens Parking Lot, 9728 Winter Gardens Boulevard
  • Spring Valley (Sheriff) – Steele Canyon High School, 12440 Campo Road
  • Lemon Grove Sheriff’s Substation, 3240 Main Street
  • Vista (Sheriff) – Walgreens Parking Lot, 310 Sycamore Avenue
  • Juvenile Hall (Probation), 2801 Meadow Lark Drive
  • Hall of Justice – San Diego District Attorney’s Office, 33 W. Broadway

Unwanted prescriptions can also be dropped off at any Sheriff’s Station or Substation during normal business hours. Find other drop off locations online.

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