Prescription drugs in a medicine cabinet. FDA photo by Michael J. Ermarth via Wikimedia Commons

San Diego County residents who want to get rid of expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs will have an opportunity to discard them Saturday during National Drug Take-Back Day.

The effort, organized by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in partnership with local law enforcement agencies, is intended to emphasize the importance of taking commonly abused drugs out of circulation.

“This event is a safe and convenient way for people to dispose of potentially harmful drugs, and in turn help to reduce the addiction rates and overdose deaths that are ripping through communities nationwide,” DEA Special Agent  Bill Bodner said. “While this year’s event is a little different due to COVID-19, it’s still important for people to do their part and be a part of the solution by preventing prescription drug abuse.”

The DEA began holding drug take-backs 10 years ago to provide the public with a more secure means of disposal.

During the take-back event last October, law enforcement agencies nationwide collected 882,919 pounds, or 442 tons, of discarded drugs, according to the DEA.

The agency noted that provisions in the federal Secure & Responsible Drug Disposal Act authorize pharmacies, hospitals and other facilities to serve as collection sites year-round.

In San Diego County, more than a dozen locations will participate, including three San Diego County Sheriff’s stations and multiple police departments.

Residents are invited to dispose of unwanted capsules, drug patches, vape pens, intravenous solutions and related products at the following sites between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.:

— Imperial Beach Sheriff’s Station, 845 Imperial Beach Blvd., Imperial Beach

— Poway Sheriff’s Station, 13100 Bowron Road, Poway

— San Marcos Sheriff’s Station, 182 Santar Place, San Marcos

— San Diego Police Department Eastern Division, 9225 Aero Drive, San Diego

— San Diego Police Department Northwestern Division, 12592 El Camino Real, San Diego

— San Diego Police Department Western Division, 5215 Gaines St., San Diego

— Escondido Police Station, 1163 N. Centre City Parkway, Escondido

— El Cajon Police Department, 100 Civic Center Way, El Cajon

— La Mesa Police Department, 8085 University Ave., La Mesa

— Navy Exchange 32nd Street, in the NEX lot at the Callagan Highway gate

— MCAS Miramar Exchange, Building #2660 Elrod Ave.

— Naval Medical Center Balboa, 34800 Bob Wilson Drive, Baxter Circle between buildings 2 and 3

— Chula Vista Public Works, 1800 Maxwell Drive, Chula Vista

— Coronado Police Station, 700 Orange Ave., Coronado

No questions will be asked of people disposing of medications. More information is available at

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