RIVERSIDE (CNS) — Riverside County residents who want to get rid of expired, unused and unwanted drugs will have an opportunity to discard them at multiple locations Saturday during National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.

The effort, organized by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in partnership with local law enforcement agencies, is intended to highlight the importance of taking commonly abused drugs out of circulation.

“The purpose of this program is to provide a safe, convenient and responsible means of disposing prescription drugs while also educating the public about the potential abuse of medications,” according to the DEA. “Drug overdose deaths are up 16% in the last year, claiming more than 290 lives every day. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends.”

The DEA held its first take back for 2022 in April. The agency began holding take backs 12 years ago. Since its inaugural drug take back event, more than 15 million pounds of prescription and non-prescription drugs have been collected at thousands of disposal sites throughout the country, according to the agency.

In 2021, an estimated 108,000 people died from drug overdoses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Roughly three- quarters of those deaths were from opioid use, principally the synthetic drug Fentanyl, officials said.

The DEA noted that provisions in the federal Secure & Responsible Drug Disposal Act authorize pharmacies, hospitals and other facilities to serve as collection sites year-round.

County residents are invited to dispose of unwanted pills at the following sites between 10:00 A.M. and 2:00 P.M. on Saturday:

  • Corona Police Department parking lot, 730 Public Safety Way
  • Murrieta Police Department, 2 Town Square
  • Palm Springs Police Department, 200 S. Civic Drive
  • Riverside Police Department collection sites, across from Kaiser Medical Center, 3660 Park Sierra Drive, and outside Riverside Community Hospital’s DeAnza Outpatient Surgery Center, 4444 Magnolia Ave.

In addition to drugs, vaping pens and cartridges will also be accepted at drop-off locations.

No questions will be asked of people disposing of medications or other ingestible products. More information is available here.