'Prescription Drug Take Back Day' educates public about medication abuse

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY — Saturday is “National Prescription Drug Take Back Day,” a federal program designed to encourage safe and convenient ways of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications.

Local ordinances in Santa Cruz County now require all pharmacies to accept used sharps and leftover medicines for proper disposal at no cost to the consumer. The program is paid for by pharmaceutical manufacturers, and there is no cost to pharmacies or local taxpayers.

“The program has been a great success. Almost all local pharmacies are now on board, and the rest will be soon," said county planner Tim Goncharoff, who administers the local program. "Last year alone, we collected more than 17,000 pounds of drugs and over 10,000 pounds of needles. This is a big step forward for the people and environment of Santa Cruz County.”

Residents are encouraged to ask their local pharmacist about the program.

For information on local programs, visit www.santacruzcountyrecycles.org. For information on National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, visit www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback.

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