Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Prescription drug abuse is an ongoing problem in San Diego County and while prescription medication can be beneficial and even life-saving for those who need it, it can be harmful and even deadly if it gets into the wrong hands.

Promptly disposing of medications you no longer need is a key step to preventing youth access to prescription drugs. On Saturday, April 27, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. more than 40 sites throughout the county will participate in Drug Enforcement Administration National Take Back Day.

North County locations include:

Walgreens at 310 Sycamore Ave., in Vista.
Tri-City Medical Center at 4002, Vista Way in Oceanside.
Scripps Coastal Medical Center at 2176 Salk Ave. in Carlsbad.

Expired medications and unused drugs often stay in cabinets within the household for months and even years. This can pose substantial health hazards for toddlers, teenagers, and possibly even pets if accidentally consumed. Ingesting some of these medications could potentially be fatal.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 1999-2017 almost 400,000 people have died from an overdose involving any opioid, including prescription and illicit opioids.

The cities of Carlsbad, Oceanside and Vista collected about 364 pounds of unused prescription medications at the last National Prescription Drug Take Back Day in October 2018.

North Coastal Prevention Coalition urges everyone who has any left-over prescription medications to come out to their nearest prescription disposal site.

To find a collection site near you, visit and if you or a family member is struggling with prescription drug abuse, call (877) 662-6384 or please visit