Public Safety

Safely Dispose of Prescription Drugs

One of the most popular drugs used by teens is likely in your own home. Prescription drugs are third only to marijuana as the drugs most often abused by teens. You can get rid of unused or expired prescription medications Saturday during National Prescription Take Back Day.

The Drug Enforcement Administration San Diego Office is joining with the County and other local partners to collect these unused prescriptions from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the following 39 sites. Addresses are available here if you click on locate collection site near you.

Central San Diego:

  • Scripps Green Hospital
  • SharpHealthCare Corporate Office
  • University of California, San Diego (Lot 705)
  • San Diego Police Department Eastern Division
  • San Diego Police Department Southeastern Division
  • San Diego Police Department Northwestern Division
  • San Diego Police Department Western Division
  • San Diego County Juvenile Hall
  • North Park Lions Club
  • Mesa College Police Substation
  • Veteran’s Administration Hospital

South County:

  • Otay Ranch Town Center  (South Lot)
  • Kaiser Permanente Otay Mesa Pharmacy
  • Scripps Mercy Hospital
  • National City Police Department
  • Coronado Police Station
  • Imperial Beach Sheriff’s Station

North County:

  • Scripps Encinitas Hospital
  • Scripps Coastal Medical Center
  • Scripps Rancho Bernardo Clinic
  • Tri-City Hospital
  • Fallbrook Sheriff’s Station
  • Escondido Police Station
  • Albertson’s Parking lot
  • Poway Sheriff’s Station
  • Kaiser Permanente San Marcos Pharmacy

Military:

  • Naval Medical Center
  • Navy Exchange32nd Street
  • MCAS Miramar Exchange
  • Camp Pendleton Front Gate (20 Area)
  • Camp Pendleton Naval Hospital (pharmacy entrance)
  • Camp Pendleton San Onofre (near the Pass and ID office)

County agencies involved in the event include the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, San Diego County Probation Department and the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office.

In the United States, more people die from prescription drug overdoses than from heroin or cocaine overdoses combined, according the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy. Typically, young people get prescription drugs from their home’s medicine cabinet or from friends.

Last September, 7,542 pounds of prescription drugs were collected in San Diego and Imperial Counties. Nationally, more than 244 tons of prescription drugs were collected on National Prescription Take Back Day.

The County’s Prescription Drug Task Force has also collected thousands of pounds of unused medications during take-back events. Additionally, 24 secure drop-off boxes have been established throughout the county. Click here for a list of permanent prescription drug drop-off sites.

Parents who believe their child might have a drug problem and adults with substance abuse issues can call the County’s Access and Crisis Line at (800) 479-3339. They may also call the Prescription Drug Task Force at (888) 662-6384.

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