No Questions Asked: Drop Off Your Old Prescription Drugs at These Places

In April, DEA and partners collected about 8,830 pounds of pharmaceuticals at 35 county sites.

People with expired or unneeded prescription drugs can dispose of them safely Saturday by taking part in the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s fifth National Prescription Take Back Day.

Law enforcement agencies, military bases, hospitals, universities and businesses across the San Diego area will accept dropped-off medications between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., according to the DEA.

Collection points include La Mesa, Lemon Grove, Poway, Santee, Encinitas, Ramona, Imperial Beach, La Jolla, Coronado and Camp Pendleton.

The service is free and anonymous, with no questions asked.

In La Mesa, where five DEA agents or La Mesa officers took part, 30 boxes were collected by 1 p.m. In past years, the La Mesa location alone collected 600-700 pounds of medicines and drugs, one agent said.

During the previous installment of the campaign, in April, the federal agency and its law enforcement partners collected about 8,830 pounds of pharmaceuticals at 35 sites in San Diego County, officials reported.

Nationally, citizens turned in over 276 tons of prescription drugs at 5,659 locations.

“The reduction of the availability of prescription drugs continues to be a priority for the law enforcement in San Diego County,” said William Sherman, acting special agent in charge of the DEA ’s San Diego office. “The success we have had in our prior take-back events demonstrates that keeping these potentially deadly drugs out of the hands of our youth is also a priority for (the public).”

Misuse of prescription drugs is a growing problem in the United States, according to medical and law enforcement officials. The substances often fall
into the hands of recreational users—many of them children who filch the substances from their unknowing parents—or are improperly discarded, posing
public-health risks.

Medications may be dropped off at any of the following locations in San Diego County:


  • Mesa College police substation, 7250 Mesa College Drive, San Diego 
  • North Park Lions Club, 3927 Utah St., San Diego 
  • San Diego Community College Police Department, 1536 Frazee Road 
  • San Diego County Juvenile Hall, 2801 Meadow Lark Drive, San Diego 
  • San Diego Police Department Eastern Division station, 9225 Aero Drive 
  • SDPD Mid-City Division, 4310 Landis St. 
  • SDPD Northwestern Division station, 12592 El Camino Real 
  • SDPD Southeastern Division station, 7222 Skyline Drive 
  • SDPD Western Division station, 5215 Gaines St. 
  • Scripps Green Hospital, 10666 N. Torrey Pines Road, San Diego 
  • Sharp Health Care corporate offices, 8695 Spectrum Center Blvd., San
  • Diego
  • University of California San Diego, parking lot 705, Voigt and Campus
  • Point drives.


  • Albertsons, 2955 Alpine Blvd., Alpine 
  • CVS Pharmacy, 1385 Tavern Road, Alpine 
  • El Cajon Police Department headquarters, 100 Civic Center Way 
  • Julian Sheriff’s Station, 2907C Washington St. 
  • Kaiser Permanente La Mesa Pharmacy, 8080 Parkway Drive 
  • La Mesa Police Department headquarters, 8085 University Ave. 
  • Lemon Grove Sheriff’s Station, 3240 Main St. 
  • San Diego State University, parking information booth, 6095 Canyon
  • Crest Drive (off College Avenue) 
  • Sycuan Tribal Police Station, 5522 Sycuan Road, Dehesa
  • Walgreen’s, 10512 Mission Gorge Road, Santee.


  •  Albertsons, 1459 Main St., Ramona 
  •  Escondido Police Department headquarters, 1163 N. Centre City Pkwy. 
  •  Fallbrook Sheriff ’s Station, 388 E. Alvarado St., Fallbrook 
  •  Poway Sheriff ’s Station, 13100 Bowron Road 
  •  Scripps Coastal Medical Center, 2176 Salk Ave., Carlsbad 
  •  Scripps Encinitas Hospital, 354 Santa Fe Drive 
  •  Scripps Rancho Bernardo Clinic, 15004 Innovation Drive, San Diego
  •  Tri-City Hospital, 4002 Vista Way, Oceanside.


  • Castle Park High School, 1395 Hilltop Drive, Chula Vista 
  • Coronado Police Department headquarters, 700 Orange Ave. 
  • Imperial Beach Sheriff ’s Station, 845 Imperial Beach Blvd.
  • National City Police Department headquarters, 1200 National City Blvd. 

Military (active-duty and retired service personnel, beneficiaries and
staff only)

  • Marine Corps Air Station Miramar Branch Medical Clinic, Building
  • 2496, Bauer Road 
  • Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton (near pharmacy building) 
  • Naval Medical Center San Diego, 34800 Bob Wilson Drive 
  • Navy Exchange, Naval Base San Diego, 2260 Callagan Highway  and
  • Twenty Area parking lot, Wire Mountain Road and Vandegrift Boulevard, Camp Pendleton.
Jane Tanaka MD September 29, 2012 at 05:01 PM
As a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist in Ramona, I see that initial opiate experimentation, which leads to opiate abuse ( and then smoking or shooting heroin) by kids and young adults starts of with vicodin/norco etc from the family medicine cabinet. Please get rid of opiate pain meds, benzodiazepines and other meds that you are not taking... Saving them up for "just in case" tempts kids to try them. Flushing them down the toilet contaminates our water sources/ the water cycle. Please turn them in to a SD County drop off site today!
Daniel Woolfolk September 29, 2012 at 09:00 PM
Thanks Jen! I didn't know that.
David Secor September 30, 2012 at 07:54 PM
Two cousins, brothers, began drug ride as pre-teens, robbing grandma's powerful prescription painkillers, sleep aids. Addicted early. Theft from parents, grandma, and property crimes, selling drugs themselves to pay for drugs followed like night follows day. Parents denied boys had a problem. Covered for them, excuses, loans, etc. even after being physically attacked themselves! Enablers+++ Boys also had "pain" and got their own prescriptions, paid for by parents, of course. Younger boy at 18, was busted at SeaTac with concealed weapon. Called parents from jail crying loudly. Parents said bail money $600 on the way. Same night jailers "found" boy hanging, not really as legs reached floor, from bars on cell door from sock tied around his neck, dead. "Suicide." No autopsy, though conversations overheard indicated jailer had gone into cell to quiet the kid, applied choke hold, accidentally killing him. Then strung him up to look like suicide. Older son died of drug OD at 42. Wife dragged body out of house (felony) to garage before calling cops because she was afraid if cops entered house to see dead husband, they would see conditions inside house and take her 3 children from her. Parents lost both sons, their only children, due to the early introduction of powerful, legal, prescription drugs. To their deaths, my uncle and aunt never stopped enabling. Don't just think about it, "if I remember I will," etc. PLEASE FIND & TURN IN ALL, ALL THOSE DRUGS.
Sara Kazemi September 30, 2012 at 09:30 PM
Where can one do this normally, i.e. not on the set day?
Christine Huard September 30, 2012 at 10:41 PM
Unwanted prescriptions can be dropped off at any Sheriff's station or substation, Monday through Friday during business hours: http://www.sdsheriff.net/oxycontin/dropbox.html


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