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Get rid of unwanted prescription pills in Ripon & Lathrop on Saturday, 10 to 2

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POSTED October 27, 2017 1:18 a.m.

You can safely get rid of unwanted prescription pills — as well as medical sharps — this Saturday in Ripon and Lathrop or on any weekday in Manteca.
Designated Drug Enforcement Agency take back sites are being scheduled nationwide on Saturday, Oct. 28.
uLathrop Police Services will be hosting one of those take back sites on Saturday at the Lathrop Senior Center – located at 15707 5th Street near Valverde Park – from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
uRipon Police is also collecting expired medication for disposal on Saturday at the police department, 259 N. Wilma Ave., from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
uManteca Police is not participating in the Oct. 28. event They do, however, accept expired drugs in a collection box in their lobby during normal business hours, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
All expired, unused or unwanted medications, both prescription and over-the-counter, can be turned in on a no-questions-asked basis.
uPills should be removed from containers and packaging.
uConsolidate loose pills into a plastic bag.
uRemove personal information from packaging.
uMedical sharps are accepted only in sealed, sturdy containers.
All of the pills that will be collected will be incinerated, keeping them out of the hands of those that may abuse them as well as out of the water supply and away from wildlife that may encounter them at dump sites or when they’re illegally  thrown in the garbage or in rivers and streams when they’re flushed down the toilet.
The take back intends to serve as a tool in combatting the rampant abuse of prescription medications that has reached a crisis level in many American cities. Last year more than 50,000 people died of drug overdoses, and a large percentage of those people were either taking prescription medication or started taking prescription medication before moving onto other illicit substances because, as the Chicago Tribune pointed out in a story that references government data released earlier this year, either the availability of the medication was restricted or the money needed for the medication became too great.
Last year’s overdose death total surpassed the all-time high set the year before, and the arrival of synthetic opiate fentanyl – which was discovered in some pills that were being sold on the black market as common opiate painkillers – is believed to be a factor in the sudden surge. Fentanyl is believed to be up to 100 times more potent than morphine, and as much as 50 times as potent as heroin that can be purchased on the street.
As a result of the increase in overdoses, some local first responders have become certified to carry and administer medication that can reverse the effects of an overdose immediately. The French Camp McKinley Fire District ran a pilot program for the San Joaquin County EMS Agency, and the Lathrop-Manteca Fire District was the first department outside of that pilot to become certified in carrying the popular life-saving drug Narcan as well as a medication that can reverse anaphylaxis causes by bee stings and other allergic reactions.
For more information on the nationwide take back day, visit www.dea.gov.

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