COUNTY — The community will have a chance to be a part of opioid prevention during Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, Oct. 24.

The Take Back Day will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the San Luis Obispo California Highway Patrol parking lot, 675 California Blvd., San Luis Obispo. This year’s Take Back Day will be a free, no-contact drive-through following COVID19 public health safety measures.

The San Luis Obispo County Opioid Safety Coalition, in collaboration with CHP, works to facilitate the safe disposal of medications while at the same time offering an anonymous, safe way for residents to drop off their prescription drugs. The organization has collected close to 2,000 pounds through Take Back Days locally since 2016.

Nationally, drug overdoses have spiked roughly 18% during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to data from the Overdose Detection Mapping Application Program, located at the University of Baltimore. People across the nation have been faced with isolation, anxiety, uncertainty, financial worries, and other stressors that can often lead to unhealthy responses such as increased substance use. Participating in the National Drug Take Back Event or SLO County’s Pharmacy Take Back Program are convenient ways to discard unwanted and or expired medications.

“Now more than ever, keeping unused or expired prescription and over-the-counter medications in your home creates a serious health risk, especially if pets or children live with you or visit you,” said Jenn Rhoads, SLO Opioid Safety Coalition Coordinator. “Please join us in keeping your homes and loved ones safe by bringing your unused or expired medications to the SLO County Take Back Day or taking advantage of SLO County’s free Pharmacy Take Back Program.”

Items accepted at Drug Take Back Day include prescription medicines, over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, medication ointments and lotions, inhalers, and liquid medication in leak-proof containers. Items not accepted are needles and or sharps, thermometers, aerosol cans, medical waste, personal care products, and hydrogen peroxide. Free disposal is available year-round at all SLO County pharmacies. Contact a local pharmacy for more information.

For more information or details, visit opioidsafetyslo.org or contact Jennifer Rhoads, 805-781-1195; jrhoads@slo.co.sa.us.

Getting through this together, Atascadero