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Community members are being encouraged to participate in the 20th “National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day” on Saturday, April 24, 2021, from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. by Kaiser Permanente.

Kaiser Permanente Southern California facilities are partnering with local law enforcement agencies on the initiative.

In L.A., Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles will serve as a drop-off location. Officials said the public will have the opportunity to drive up to the 24-hour pharmacy turnaround at the medical center, to drop off unwanted, unused or expired medications. Meanwhile, a pharmacist will also be on hand to answer any questions individuals may have about the medications.

“At Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles, we remain involved in the total health of our community. We feel it’s our responsibility to educate the community about the importance of responsibly disposing medication, while also raising awareness of the harm that comes from abuse of these prescription drugs,” said Paige Lin, area pharmacy director at Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles.

Health experts said prescription drug take-back programs are important for various reasons. Organizers said the program promotes public safety and public health, while providing residents with a convenient and anonymous way to safely dispose of medications.

According to Kaiser Permanente, in October 2019, a total of 13 boxes weighing an estimated 177 pounds were collected at the Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles event alone.

Health experts said prescription drug abuse in the U.S. is alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), more people started down the path of addiction through the misuse of opioid prescription drugs, and each year higher amounts of opioids are being turned in at the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day events.

If you are unable to participate on Saturday, April 24th, you can properly dispose of medications at drug disposal kiosks in Kaiser Permanente facilities throughout Southern California. A listing of additional drop-off locations available for public use can be found on the Drug Enforcement Administration website.