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National Drug Take Back Day aims to fight prescription drug abuse

Posted at 5:47 PM, Oct 26, 2018

Saturday is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. The goal is to help people get rid of unused, unwanted, or expired prescription drugs.

Two Santa Maria organizations are coming together for their first drug take-back event in the city.

Prescription pill abuse is an epidemic affecting almost every community in the country, including our own.

“We do have a problem with opioid addiction as well as overdoses from people that are trying to overcome, recover from addiction and not seeking medical help, but the main intro to that is prescription medications,” explained Edwin Weaver, Executive Director of Fighting Back Santa Maria Valley.

Weave says both young people and addicts can have easy access to these pills without people even realizing.

“We’ve found that young people, unfortunately, or addicts in general, do end up going into people’s homes and remove medicines when people aren’t home. For example, during an open house or during parties or family gatherings someone can go and take these medications and abuse them.”

Now, Weaver’s organization and Santa Maria’s California Highway Patrol office are joining forces for a drug take-back event in Santa Maria for the first time.

“We are involved in the epidemic because usually, people are driving to and from to get their prescription medications or driving illegally under the influence of those medications,” said Officer Efrem Moore, Santa Maria CHP.

These medications can impact the environment as well.

“So by disposing of them properly on Saturday, you will help ensure that young people don’t get these drugs and don’t start using them and keep our water table clean which is very important to all of us,” Weaver said.

The drug take-back will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Santa Maria DMV. Every 20th car will get a prize.

In San Luis Obispo County, unwanted medication can be dropped off between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday at the following locations:

  • Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center, parking lot at the corner of Murray and Casa Streets, San Luis Obispo
  • Twin Cities Community Hospital, main entrance patio, 1100 Las Tablas Road, Templeton
  • Arroyo Grande Social Services/SAFE office, parking lot, 1086 Grand Avenue, Arroyo Grande