City collecting old, unused medications April 30

DOWNEY - The Downey Police Department and community volunteers will be collecting unused, unwanted or out-of-date prescription medications on Saturday morning, April 30, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.This event offers residents an opportunity to rid their homes of potentially dangerous drugs and minimize the potential for misuse and abuse. "Prescription medications can be mistakenly used or worse, abused, by those who live with legitimate prescription drug users. This program is a great way for family members to properly discard their old medications," said Police Chief Rick Esteves. "Prescription drugs are frequently the first exposure to drug abuse for young people." The location will be the Discovery Sports Complex and Columbia Memorial Space Center on Columbia Way, near Lakewood Boulevard. The distribution will be a 'drive-thru' only event. Residents should enter the park from Steve Horn Way (accessed from Bellflower Boulevard). There will be no accommodations for walk-up visitors. All attendees will be directed to stay with their vehicles as they work their way through the collection effort. The collection of the medications will begin at 10 a.m. and end at 2 p.m. The event will be held rain or shine. The event is co-sponsored by the Los Angeles Division of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). The DEA is providing the collection boxes and will be responsible for the proper disposal of the discarded drugs. All of the drugs and containers will be incinerated. Last year more than 8,000 pounds of medications were collected in Southern California. Event attendees will have the option of dropping their prescription medications and containers into the DEA collection boxes or pouring their prescription medications into DEA collection boxes and keeping the drug containers. The dangers of prescription drug abuse will be shared with everyone attending the event through special brochures. Prescription drugs discarded into the sanitary sewer system may pose environmental problems for the ocean and the potable water supply. Water treatment plants are capable of filtering out nearly all impurities. However, traces of prescription drugs have been found after the filtration efforts are complete. The recycled water from the filtration plants is sent to settling basins to re-charge the ground water basins, used for landscape irrigation or released to the storm drains to flow to the ocean. Before this program was started, there were no legal means to transfer possession of certain prescription drugs for disposal. Details for the collection event, and a map, are posted on the city website. The Downey Patriot will carry a map in next week's newspaper. Questions or comments may be sent to or call (562) 904-2327.

********** Published: April 21, 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 1