By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Southland residents can dispose of expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs this weekend during National Drug Take-Back Day.

Dozens of sites across Southern California will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for people to get rid of prescription medication, as well as drug patches, vape pens, intravenous solutions and related products.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration organized the effort, in partnership with local law enforcement agencies, in order to emphasize the importance of taking commonly abused drugs out of circulation.

“This event is a safe and convenient way for people to dispose of potentially harmful drugs, and in turn help to reduce the addiction rates and overdose deaths that are ripping through communities nationwide,” DEA Special Agent Bill Bodner said. “While this year’s event is a little different due to COVID-19, it’s still important for people to do their part and be a part of the solution by preventing prescription drug abuse.”

The DEA began coordinating drug take-back events a decade ago to provide people with a more secure method of disposal for their medication. During drug take-backs in October 2019, law enforcement agencies nationwide collected 882,919 pounds, or 442 tons, of discarded drugs, according to the DEA. No questions will be asked of people disposing of medications.

Prescription drugs can also be disposed of at any time throughout the year at any of the 11,000 DEA-authorized collectors, including pharmacies and hospitals.

Saturday’s event will adhere to local COVID-19 guidelines.

In Los Angeles County, drop off locations include the police departments in San Gabriel, Downey, Montebello and Burbank. Other sites are the Santa Clarita sheriff’s station, as well as Watts Healthcare at 10300 Compton Ave., the Sam’s Club in Torrance, Whittier City Hall, the Walmart garden center lot at the Fallbrook Mall and Kaiser Permanente medical centers in Baldwin Park and on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles.

In Orange County, sites include the Leisure World main gate in Seal Beach; the Laguna Niguel, Mission Viejo and Rancho Santa Margarita city halls; Huntington Beach, Irvine, Cypress and Placentia police departments; Irvine Valley College; Hoag Health Center-Irvine; and Kaiser Permanente Anaheim Medical Center.

To find a collection site for Saturday drop-offs, visit http://www.deatakeback.com.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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