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NAPA, California – The Police Departments of Napa, St. Helena, Calistoga, Yountville, and American Canyon, the Napa County Sheriff’s Office, Kaiser Permanente and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will host collection events for unused medication and sharps (used syringes and needles) on Saturday, October 26, 2019, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., at several locations around Napa County.
Residents are encouraged to bring their unused or expired over-the-counter and prescription medications to one of six collection locations throughout Napa County. It is recommended that any personal information on medication containers be removed or blacked out before dropping them off. Additionally, these one-day collection sites can legally accept federally-designated “controlled” substances that include many highly addictive prescription medications such as morphine and OxyContin, as well as illegal narcotics such as LSD and ecstasy.
Home generated medical sharps (needles, syringes, epinephrine auto-injectors, etc.) will be accepted for disposal at all of the October 26th sites as well. State law prohibits the disposal of home generated sharps in trash or recycling containers. Improper disposal of home generated sharps is a health and safety threat to children, home health care providers, trash & recycling workers, and pets through accidental needle stick injuries. Sharps that are not disposed of properly can also end up on beaches and riverbanks, waterways, parks and more. Ideally, sharps should only be transported in an approved container obtained from a physician or pharmacy. A tightly sealed, leak- and puncture-resistant container with a lid, such as a bleach bottle, coffee can, or other similar container, is an acceptable alternative for transportation of sharps to the event. These containers should be labeled as “sharps.”
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“Many people don’t realize that flushing medications down the toilet or putting them down the drain can lead to water pollution and harmful effects on aquatic life,” said Stephanie Turnipseed, Pollution Prevention and Outreach Coordinator with the Napa Sanitation District. “Medication can pass right through the wastewater treatment process and enter our waterways, so the best thing to do is to bring your medicines to a take-back event or one of the year-round drop-off locations for safe disposal.”
In addition to the environmental impact of improperly disposed medications, prescription and over-the-counter drugs that remain in home cabinets are highly susceptible to misuse and abuse. 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. Studies show that the majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.
“Now is the time to take a look around the house and gather those unused or expired prescriptions and over-the-counter medicines,” said Omid Afshari, area pharmacy director for Kaiser Permanente Napa Solano. “Having convenient and responsible ways to dispose of medication properly is important in keeping our communities safe. Kaiser Permanente is proud to partner with local law enforcement, as well as city and county agencies in this work. It takes everyone coming together to make a difference.”
American Canyon Police Department911 Donaldson Way East, American Canyon
Napa County Sheriff’s Office1535 Airport Blvd, Napa
Kaiser Permanente Medical Offices – East Parking Lot (Hosted by Napa Police Department)3285 Claremont Way, Napa
Yountville Police Department1950 Mulberry Street, Yountville
St. Helena Police Department1480 Main Street, St. Helena
Calistoga Police Department1235 Washington Street, Calistoga
Those unable to take items to the event can dispose of unwanted pharmaceuticals (uncontrolled substances only) and home generated sharps year-round at the Napa-Vallejo Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility located at 889A Devlin Road, next to the Transfer Station in American Canyon. The facility is open every Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m..
There are several local year-round opportunities for safe and legal disposal of uncontrolled substances and sharps, which can be found online at www.naparecycling.com/medicine.
Mail back services are available for your home generated sharps. Additional year-round options for residential medical sharps can be found online at www.naparecycling.com/medicalsharps-disposal or call the Napa County Department of Public Works for more sharps disposal information at 707-253-4094. You can also use specially designated drop-off bins to dispose of home generated sharps at the Napa County Sheriff’s Office lobby, 1535 Airport Boulevard, Napa, any time between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
These annual Drug Take Back Day events would not be possible without the ongoing support of the following organizations: Drug Enforcement Administration, Napa County Sheriff’s Department, American Canyon Police Department, Calistoga Police Department, Napa Police Department, St. Helena Police Department, Yountville Police Department, City of Napa Recycling Division, Napa County, Kaiser Permanente, Napa Sanitation District, Upper Valley Waste Management Agency, City of Napa Police Volunteers and Napa Recycling & Waste Services/Napa County Recycling & Waste Services.