I rarely take even an aspirin these days, but a few years back I used to take prescribed drugs, a lot of allergy medication, multivitamins, and a bunch of other pills — some daily, others occasionally. Most of my stash disappeared as I finished them off and didn’t replace them, but other pills have been sitting in my medicine chest (a.k.a. shoebox) for years.

This weekend, they’ll find a new home — at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. I’ll be taking them there as a part of the The National Take-Back Day on Sept. 25, an event coordinated by the Drug Enforcement Administration or DEA.

Most MNN readers already know that drugs shouldn’t be flushed down the toilet or simply thrown in the trash. Many of you already take expired or unused meds to household hazardous waste facilities to be disposed of properly, preventing misuse or environmental pollution. While the DEA’s program also promises “destruction” of the meds you bring in “in a safe, legal, and environmentally sound way,” the main goal of the drug drop-off program — part of a larger effort variously referred to as National Take-Back Initiative, National Prescription Drug Take-Back campaign, and nationwide prescription drug “Take-Back” initiative in the DEA’s press materials — is actually intended to bring attention to prescription drug abuse.

For the record, I always took my pills as prescribed! My extra pills will be dropped off at the West Hollywood sheriff’s office this Saturday. Find a collection site near you with a little help from the DEA, and take back your drugs this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. And keep in mind that the DEA won’t be taking back what it considers illegal drugs — so leave the medical marijuana at home.

Can’t make it to your sheriff’s department in that small window of time (or don’t want to)? Then use another eco-friendlier method to dispose of your drugs safely.

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