SAN DIEGO ( — San Diego County has seen a nearly 22 percent increase in the number of deaths linked to prescription drug abuse in the last five years, according to a county report.

The San Diego Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force released its November report card Monday, which found 268 people died unintentionally in prescription drug-related deaths last year.

According to the report card, the prevalence of prescription painkillers per county resident has increased each year since 2010 and continues to dwarf that of anti-anxiety and stimulant medications.

County Supervisor Dave Roberts told KNX 1070’s Tom Reopelle that officials are trying to be proactive through efforts to expand the number of locations where residents can properly dispose of unused medication.

“We’ve begun expanding the drop boxes; we have them now in county facilities and the sheriff’s facilities,” Roberts said. “The cities and the city police forces are now putting prescription drop boxes into their facilities.”

Officials are also trying to educate parents on the dangers of keeping prescription medications in the home.


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