Police collecting old, unused medicine

DOWNEY - The Downey Police Department and community volunteers will collect unused, unwanted or out-of-date prescription medications on Saturday morning, Oct. 29 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.This event offers community members a safe and convenient opportunity to rid their homes of potentially dangerous drugs and minimizes the potential for misuse and abuse. Over-the-counter medications will also be accepted. "Prescription medications can be mistakenly used or worse, abused, by those who live with legitimate prescription drug users. Prescription drugs are frequently the first exposure to drug abuse for young people," said Downey Police Chief Rick Esteves. "This program is a great way for community members to properly discard their old medications." The LA Times recently reported the annual death toll attributed to drug use has now surpassed the death toll from motor vehicle fatalities. In 2009, over 36,000 drug related deaths were reported. Drug-induced death statistics have been kept since 1979. The LA Times analysis of government data found the increase has been propelled by a rapid increase in prescription narcotic overdoses. The location for the Oct. 29 event will be the Discovery Sports Complex and Columbia Memorial Space Center on Columbia Way, near Lakewood Blvd. The distribution will be a 'drive-thru' only event. Event participants should enter the park from Steve Horn Way (accessed from Bellflower Blvd). 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 collected drugs and containers will be incinerated. Last April, over 325 pounds of medications were collected from the Downey event. Event attendees 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. Questions or comments may be sent to ready@downeyca.org or call (562) 904-2327.

********** Published: October 13, 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 26