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Collection of expired, unneeded medications in Lathrop on Saturday

Have any expired or old prescription medications just sitting in your medicine cabinet collecting dust?

Lathrop Police Services – and the Drug Enforcement Agency – want to take them off of your hands for you.

On Saturday, Oct. 27, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Lathrop Police Services will be collecting expired and unneeded prescription and over-the-counter medications at the Lathrop Senior Center as a part of a nationwide effort held in conjunction with the DEA to ensure that both prescription and over-the-counter medications are disposed of properly.

Manteca Police have a collection program in place as well on Monday through Fridays in the lobby during office hours.

It’s the second time this year that Lathrop Police Services has hosted a take-back event – where both residents and non-residents can simply bring their medication down and drop them off to officers with no questions asked so that they can be collected, weighed, and ultimately destroyed – and Saturday’s event will be duplicated in communities across San Joaquin County as law enforcement agencies work to ensure that residents have a safe and environmentally-sound option for disposing of old of unwanted medicines.

And the event is being viewed by some as a step toward combatting one of the biggest health crises facing America today.

With illicit opiate use rampant in many communities across the country, police departments urge people with prescriptions that could be abused to keep close tabs on them and make sure that if any of those pills are left over they’re disposed of properly by bringing them to authorized collection sites. Communities advise against flushing them down the toilet because ultimately the chemicals end up in local waterways and could adversely affect fish and wildlife that may come into contact with trace amounts. 

Medicine cabinets are also commonly the targets of drug-seeking thieves who believe that a resident may have a controlled substance on hand – making seniors susceptible to such crimes. Getting rid of the medications that aren’t absolutely necessary serves as a protection against such thieves, and eliminates the possibility of familial diversion – where somebody in the household abuses the medication of another, often times without their knowledge.

The Lathrop Senior Center is located at 15707 5th Street. For additional information about the drug take-back day, contact Lathrop Police Services at 209.858.5551.

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.