California officials encourage residents to turn in unwanted prescription drugs Saturday

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In honor of National Prescription Drug Take Back Day Saturday, state officials are encouraging all Californians to take a moment and turn in any unwanted or expired medications in their possession.

There’s little, if any, doubt that prescription drug abuse and overdoses are a serious problem in the U.S.

“Deaths from drug overdoses exceed that of car accidents, guns or AIDS,” said Attorney General Xavier Becerra. “And their acceleration in these recent years has pushed down overall life expectancy in the United States.”

Becerra is encouraging anyone who may have unused or expired medications to turn them in on National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. He adds that drug overdose numbers have spiked during the coronavirus pandemic.

San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott told KCBS Radio that this is not about demonizing medication, in general.

“When it’s used properly, it makes our lives more comfortable,” he said. “But oftentimes, it’s that misuse of that medicine, particularly when it gets into the wrong hands, that endangers lives.”

Scott added that all San Francisco police stations have drug drop off bins that can be used at any time, not just during the take back event.

“Our police stations are open during COVID, and those receptacles are available to the public 24 hours a day,” he said.

Many drug stores also have drug drop programs that run year round.