Semiannual Take-back Day April 28 offers easy way to dispose of drugs

By: Carol Feineman, Editor
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Area Medication Take-back Day locations from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 28


Lincoln Police Department

770 7th St.


Maidu Community Center
1550 Maidu Drive

Roseville High School
1 Tiger Way

Sun City Roseville
7050 Del Webb Blvd.

Del Oro High School
3301 Taylor Road

Granite Bay

Granite Bay High School
1 Grizzly Way


Rocklin Police Department

4080 Rocklin Road

Rocklin Fire Station Number 3

2001 Wildcat Blvd.


City Hall
1225 Lincoln Way

Justice Center, Placer County Government Center campus
2929 Richardson Drive


Placer County Sheriff’s Office Substation
10 Culver St.


Know and Go:

What: Prescription Drug Take-back Day

When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 28

For the eighth consecutive year, Placer County organizations host the Prescription Drug Take-back Day in 13 locations on April 28 as similar days are held throughout the United States.

The semiannual day every spring and fall was created “to provide a safe, convenient and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Prescription and over-the-counter drugs, controlled substances and veterinary medications can be dropped off.

A record-setting 912,305 pounds of potentially-dangerous expired and unused prescription drugs last November were dropped off at more than 5,300 collection sites throughout the United States.

Of that number, Placer County residents dropped off a total of 5,224 pounds of unwanted prescription drugs.

According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.4 million Americans abused controlled prescription drugs. A majority of abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet, the study showed.

“This (take-back day) is an important tool to help keep potentially dangerous prescription drugs out of the hands of teens, young children and even seniors who might misuse them or make mistakes,” said Christina Ivazes, Coalition for Placer Youth director and Placer County health educator. “Proper disposal also protects our environment by keeping these substances out of the water supply.”
Area disposal locations in Placer County stretch from Granite Bay to Colfax. Two other locations are in Tahoe City and Truckee.

Putting together the local Medication Take-back Day includes Coalition for Placer Youth, the Coalition for Auburn and Lincoln Youth, all law enforcement agencies, the Rx Drug Safety Placer Nevada Coalition, public health entities and local schools.

“The success of our efforts to remove potentially harmful and polluting prescription drugs from Placer County is the result of a huge community collaboration. If anyone has unused or outdated medications, we recommend that they dispose of them, don’t save them,” Ivazes said. “Also, locking up prescription medications is the best way to prevent abuse. Our motto is Lock It Up, Clean It Out, Drop It Off! Also, parents need to ensure children and teens are protected from access to medications, even cough syrups.”

This national issue hits home.

 “According to the DEA, a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet. For that reason, it is very important to keep these out of the hands of those who should not be using them,” said Lincoln Police Chief Doug Lee. “On Oct. 28, 2017 (our last event), almost 700 people dropped off 660 pounds of expired and/or unneeded medications. We even offer drive-through service.”

In 2016, a total of 10,148 pounds of prescriptions were disposed of in Placer County. In 2017, a total of 10,967 pounds was collected in Placer County, according to county statistics.

“We hope to decrease the need for the DEA Take Back events, but as we have large senior populations in Placer County, who often use multiple medications, the need will continue to exist,” Ivazes said. “Many of our calls come from family members who have loved ones pass away and they literally have boxes of medications they need to get rid of.”

Until the need is no longer needed in Placer County, however, the partnership of community agencies will continue to host these events twice a year.

“We have become a well-oiled ‘take back’ machine in Placer County with 13 sites. Each of our local law enforcement agencies (city and sheriff) participate with 13 drop-off sites across Placer County during every event,” Ivazes said. “Each site has a site coordinator and a licensed law enforcement officer who coordinate their own volunteers for each site. Each site has from three to eight volunteers with our Sun City Roseville site being the most utilized.”

The three Placer County Drug-Free Community Coalitions (Coalition for Placer Youth, Coalition for Auburn and Lincoln Youth and the Tahoe Truckee Future Without Drug Dependence) assist in coordinating the event promotional materials and the educational materials handed out to each Rx Take Back participant.

“We collaborate with the RX Placer Nevada Drug Safety Coalition and Placer County Environmental Services,” Ivazes said. “We handed out materials on preventing opioid abuse and marijuana safety and poison information to over 2,100 county participants during the last fall 2017 DEA Drug Take Back.”

For questions about the April 28 take-back day, residents can call 916-258-2302 or go online to