PUBLIC SAFETY FACILITY —Community members can drop off their unwanted and expired prescription drugs at the Santa Monica Police Department on Oct. 29, as part of an effort to reduce pill abuse and public health problems.

“Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse,” according to a statement by SMPD.

This “take-back” event, sponsored by SMPD and the Drug Enforcement Administration, encourages the public to safely dispose of their unused pills — the usual habit of flushing pills down the toilet or throwing them in the trash could lead to potential safety and health dangers. At last April’s event, Americans turned in more than 376,000 pounds of drugs at DEA and law enforcement sites across the country.

Studies show that most prescription drug abusers get their pills from family friends, a trend the SMPD aims to help prevent, according to the statement.

“Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs,” according to the SMPD.

The free event, held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., is anonymous and no questions will be asked. An officer will be outside the police department at 333 Olympic Dr. so that visitors can easily drop off medications for disposal.

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