Southland residents can get rid of unwanted or outdated prescription drugs by dropping them off at designated collection sites during the Drug Enforcement Administration's National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.
Between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, people can drop off the items at numerous sites throughout the region. The service is free and anonymous, with no questions asked.
The public can find a nearby collection site by visiting www.dea.gov, clicking on the "Got Drugs?'' icon and following the links to a database, where they enter their zip code.
During previous Drug Take-Back events, Los Angeles-area residents have turned in thousands of pounds of medicines.
According to the DEA, medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion and abuse.
The agency noted that rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States are alarmingly high -- with more Americans abusing prescription drugs than cocaine, hallucinogens and heroin combined, according to the 2009 National
Survey on Drug Use and Health.
Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet, the DEA reported. Among the collection sites:
-- City maintenance facility, 150 Illinois St., El Segundo;
-- Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, 2801 Atlantic Ave., Long Beach;
-- Ralphs Pharmacy, 1770 Carson St., Torrance;
-- police station, 625 S. Del Mar Ave., San Gabriel;
-- police station, 420 15th St., Manhattan Beach;
-- police station, 333 Olympic Drive, Santa Monica;
-- LAPD stations; and
-- Los Angeles County sheriff's stations.