Paso Robles News|Wednesday, October 21, 2020
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Community encouraged to participate in ‘Drug take back day’ Oct. 24 

Community encouraged to participate in 'Drug take back day' Oct. 24Nationally, drug overdoses have spiked roughly 18-percent due to the COVID-19 pandemic

–The community will have a chance to be a part of opioid prevention during Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, Oct. 24. The Take Back Day will be held from 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. at the California Highway Patrol Parking Lot, 675 California Blvd, in San Luis Obispo. This year’s Take Back Day will be a free, no-contact drive-through following COVID-19 Public Health safety measures to ensure everyone’s safety.

The SLO County Opioid Safety Coalition, in collaboration with the California Highway Patrol, works to facilitate the safe disposal of medications while at the same time offering an anonymous, safe way for residents to drop off their prescription drugs. The organization has collected close to 2,000 lbs through take back days locally since 2016.

Nationally, drug overdoses have spiked roughly 18-percent due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to data from the Overdose Detection Mapping Application Program, located at the University of Baltimore. People across the nation have been faced with isolation, anxiety, uncertainty, financial worries, and other stressors that can often lead to unhealthy responses such as increased substance use. Participating in the National Drug Take Back Event (or SLO County’s Pharmacy Take Back Program) is the easiest way to ensure unwanted/expired medications will not harm those who are struggling to cope with these difficult times.

“Now more than ever, keeping unused or expired prescription and over-the-counter medications in your home creates a serious health risk, especially if pets or children live with you or visit you,” says Jenn Rhoads, SLO Opioid Safety Coalition Coordinator. “Please join us in keeping your homes and loved ones safe by brining your unused or expired medications to the SLO County Take Back Day or taking advantage of SLO County’s free Pharmacy Take Back Program.”

Items accepted at Drug Take Back Day include prescription medicines, over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, medication ointments and lotions, inhalers, and liquid medication in leak-proof containers. Items not accepted are needles / sharps, thermometers, aerosol cans, medical waste, personal care products, and hydrogen peroxide. Free disposal is available year-round at all SLO County pharmacies. Contact your local pharmacy for more information.

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About the author: News Staff

News staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote and edited this story from local contributors and press releases. Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Connect with him on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, or follow his blog. He can be reached at