The Police Departments of the Cities of Napa, Calistoga, St. Helena, American Canyon, and Town of Yountville, together with the Napa County Sheriff’s Office and Federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will host collection events for unused medications and sharps (used needles and lancets) on Saturday, October 22, 2016, from 10am – 2pm, at several locations in Napa County.
Residents are encouraged to safely dispose of their unused or expired over-the-counter and prescription medications at any of six drop-off locations. These one-day drop-off sites will legally accept federally-designated “controlled” substances that include even highly additive prescription medications such as morphine and OxyContin as well as illegal narcotics such as LSD and ecstasy. Some, but not all of the sites will also accept home-generated sharps. This service is free and anonymous.
Improper disposal of medications may have serious impacts on the environment. “Flushing medications down the toilet or drain can pollute our waterways and cause negative impacts on aquatic life,” said Stephanie Turnipseed, Pollution Prevention and Outreach Coordinator with the Napa Sanitation District. “The simplest way to reduce the amount of medicines contaminating our environment is to take your unwanted medicines to a collection event or one of the year-round drop-off locations for safe disposal.”
In addition to the environmental impacts of improperly disposing of medications, prescription and over-the-counter drugs that languish in home cabinets may be misused and abused. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from home medicine cabinets.
“Kaiser Permanente is proud to partner with local law enforcement and city and county agencies to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible way to dispose of unused or expired prescription and over-the-counter medications,” said Alfonso Becerra, pharmacy director for Kaiser Permanente’s Napa Solano Area. “By disposing of these medicines properly, residents are helping prevent drug abuse and contamination of our waterways.”
Medication-Only Collection Sites:
American Canyon Police Department
911 Donaldson Way, American Canyon
Kaiser Permanente Medical Offices – South Parking Lot
3285 Claremont Way, Napa
Napa Sheriff’s Office
1535 Airport Blvd, Napa
Medication AND Sharps Collection Sites:
Calistoga Police Department
1235 Washington Street, Calistoga **This site is open until 4pm.**
St. Helena Police Department
1480 Main Street, St. Helena
Yountville Police Department
1950 Mulberry Street, Yountville
State law prohibits the disposal of sharps in the trash. Residents should transport sharps in tightly sealed, leak- and puncture-resistant containers with lids, such as a bleach bottles, coffee cans, or similar containers. These containers should be labeled as “sharps.” Sharps transported in plastic or paper bags or other non-puncture-resistant containers will not be accepted.
Those unable to participate in the October 22 events may dispose of their unused medications (uncontrolled substances only) and home-generated sharps throughout the year free of charge at the Napa-Vallejo Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility, located at 889A Devlin Road, next to the Transfer Station in American Canyon. The facility is open every Friday and Saturday from 9am to 4pm.Various mail back services are also available for home-generated sharps.
Napa County residents who would like more information on medications and sharps disposal may visit www.naparecycling.com/medicine or call Napa County Public Works at 707-253-4094.