[UPDATED:] Cops Want What's in Your Medicine Cabinet

UPDATE: We missed probably the biggest collection point of all (updates throughout) . . .

Local police want what's in your medicine cabinet today.

No, government budget cuts have not been so deep that the forced confiscation of citizen medications has replaced cops' prescription drug plans. This is a totally volunteer operation, administered by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), to collect potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs for destruction.

Among the agencies participating in the first-ever Nationwide Prescription Drug Take-Back Initiative are the Irvine, Anaheim and Garden Grove police departments and the Orange County Sheriff's Department (OCSD). Prescription drugs can be dropped off free and anonymously from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today at designated sites, "no questions asked." Irvine PD warns "sharps" (hypodermic needles) will not be accepted, as this event was developed specifically for the disposal of medicines. 

Illustration by Jay Brockman

The drop-off locations are:

  • Irvine Police Department headquarters, One Civic Center Plaza, Irvine.
  • Anaheim Police Department main station, 425 S. Harbor Blvd., Anaheim.
  • Garden Grove Police Department, 11301 Acacia Parkway, Garden Grove.
  • The Arab American Festival, 12732 Main St., Garden Grove.
  • Orange County Fire Authority Fire House, on Paseo de Valencia, in Laguna Woods, which is, of course, mostly a retirement community filled with medication consumers who are served and protected by the OCSD.

Upcoming Events


For a full list of collection sites, go to DEA.gov.

The DEA says the initiative is necessary because rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are increasing at alarming rates, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.

Most abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, who usually pluck them from home medicine cabinets. Many Americans are also unaware of how to properly dispose of their unused medicine, often flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away--both potential safety and health hazards.


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