Parents in Action taking back unwanted prescription drugs October 26 at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School

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On Saturday, October 26, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. San Bernardino School District Police Department, San Bernardino Parents in Action, MHS Central Valley Prevention Program and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration will give the public an opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. Bring your pills for disposal to Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School at 1250 Medical Center Dr, San Bernardino, CA 92411. (Sites cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills or patches.) The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

Last fall Americans turned in nearly 469 tons (more than 937,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at nearly 6,300 sites operated by the DEA and almost 5,000 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 17 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in more than 11.8 million pounds— approximately 5,900 tons—of pills.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows year after year that the majority of misused and abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including someone else’s medication being stolen from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.

“My passion to help the community began after taking the FLI (Family Leadership Institute) course. In 2018 we began to work with MHS Central Valley Prevention Program. We talked about what worries us about the environment that surrounds our children, and unfortunately, there are drugs, alcohol and bullying that affect our youth. We started the project of collecting prescription medication with the support of the Administration of the school, the school police department and the DEA. We have collected over 98 lbs. since the beginning of this project and thus we prevented the misuse of these drugs in our community. We are a group of more than 30 volunteers, and we hope that more groups get involved and interested in our community of San Bernardino California” shares Analit Mitre, a parent leader in San Bernardino.

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For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the October 26 Take Back Day event, go to www.DEATakeBack.com or facebook.com/CommunityCoalitionsforChange.

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