Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles Partners With Local Law Enforcement to Take Back Unwanted Prescription Drugs
April 27, 2017
Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles, in partnership with local law enforcement agencies, is encouraging the community to participate in the 13th “National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day” on Saturday, April 29, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Prescription drug take-back programs provide local residents with a convenient way to safely dispose of expired, unwanted or unused medicines. Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles will serve as a drop-off site for the disposal of expired, unwanted and unused medicines. The service is free, easy and anonymous. “This program has been a tremendous success. Events like this address a crucial public safety and public health concern and help to raise awareness about the benefits of properly storing and disposing of prescription medications,” says Georgina Garcia, senior vice president and area manager for Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles Medical Center. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2015, more than 15,000 people died from overdoses involving prescription opioids. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends–often from home medicine cabinets. In 2016 Kaiser Permanente facilities in California, Oregon and Colorado collected approximately 15,000 pounds of expired or unwanted medicines. Properly disposing of prescription drugs can reduce the risk of abuse, accidental poisonings and environmental damage posed by such medications, especially controlled prescription drugs such as painkillers, tranquilizers and stimulants.