The Police Departments of Napa, St. Helena, Calistoga, Yountville, and American Canyon, the Napa County Sheriff’s Office, Kaiser Permanente and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will host collection events for unused medication and sharps (used syringes and needles) on Saturday, October 29, 2022, from 10am – 2pm, at several locations around Napa County. Please note that the Kaiser Permanente location will be drive-through only and residents are asked to store any material that they plan to drop off in their vehicle trunk. Staff will not open vehicle doors or enter vehicle cabins.
Residents are encouraged to bring their unused or expired over the counter and prescription medications (including tablets, capsules, inhalers and liquids) to one of six collection locations throughout Napa County. It is recommended that any personal information on medication containers be removed or blacked out before dropping them off. Additionally, these one-day collection sites can legally accept federally designated “controlled” substances that include many highly addictive prescription medications such as morphine and OxyContin, as well as illegal narcotics such as LSD and ecstasy.
Home generated medical sharps (needles, syringes, epinephrine auto-injectors, etc.) will also be accepted for disposal at all the October 29th sites as well. State law prohibits the disposal of home generated sharps in trash or recycling containers. Improper disposal of home generated sharps is a health and safety threat to children, home health care providers, trash & recycling workers, and pets through accidental needle stick injuries. Sharps that are not disposed of properly can also end up on beaches and riverbanks, waterways, parks and more. Ideally, sharps should only be transported in an approved container obtained from a physician or pharmacy. A tightly sealed, leak- and puncture-resistant container with a lid, such as a bleach bottle, coffee can, or other similar container, is an acceptable alternative for transportation of sharps to the event. These containers should be labeled as “sharps.”
This service is free and anonymous.
“If medications are flushed or put down the drain, they can pass through the wastewater treatment process, which can be harmful to aquatic life and water quality,” said Stephanie Turnipseed, Pollution Prevention and Outreach Coordinator with the Napa Sanitation District. “It is best to bring expired or unused medications to a take-back event or one of the year-round drop-off locations for safe disposal. With new state regulations, more takeback options including additional drug takeback bins and mail back services are becoming available to us here in Napa County. These disposal options are free, and they help protect your family and the environment.”
In addition to the environmental impact of improperly disposed medications, prescription and over-the-counter drugs that remain in home cabinets are highly susceptible to misuse and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that the majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.
“Medication safety is very important to us," said Omid Afshari, PharmD, Area Pharmacy Director, Kaiser Permanente Napa-Solano Area. “Keeping unused or expired prescription or over the counter medications around your house means there’s a chance they could be used improperly — even accidentally – and cause harm to another person’s health. We especially don’t want to see that happen to children. That’s why we are proud to partner with local law enforcement and other community partners to encourage people to properly dispose of unused or expired medications conveniently and for free through this Drug Take Back collection event.”
October 29th Medication AND Sharps Collection Event Sites:
American Canyon Police Department
911 Donaldson Way East, American Canyon
Napa County Sheriff’s Office
1535 Airport Blvd, Napa
Kaiser Permanente Medical Offices – East Parking Lot *Drive-Through Only*
3285 Claremont Way, Napa
Yountville Police Department
1950 Mulberry Street, Yountville
St. Helena Police Department
1480 Main Street, St. Helena
Calistoga Police Department
1235 Washington Street, Calistoga
Can’t make the collection event on October 29th?
Those unable to take items to the event can dispose of unwanted pharmaceuticals (non-controlled substances only) and home generated sharps year-round 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.
There are several local year-round opportunities for safe and legal disposal of both controlled and non-controlled substances and medical sharps, which can be found online at www.naparecycling.com/medicine.
Mail back services are available for your home generated sharps. Additional year-round options for residential medical sharps can be found online at www.naparecycling.com/needles-and-sharps or call the Napa County Department of Public Works for more sharps disposal information at 707-253-4094. You can also use specially designated drop-off bins to dispose of home generated sharps at the Napa County Sheriff’s Office lobby, 1535 Airport Boulevard, Napa, any time between 8AM and 5PM, Monday through Friday.
Event sponsors and supporters
These annual Drug Take Back Day events would not be possible without the ongoing support of the following organizations:
Drug Enforcement Administration, Napa County Sheriff’s Department, Napa Police Department, American Canyon Police Department, Calistoga Police Department, St. Helena Police Department, Yountville Police Department, City of Napa Recycling Division, Napa County, Kaiser Permanente, Napa Sanitation District, Upper Valley Waste Management Agency, and Napa Recycling & Waste Services/Napa County Recycling & Waste Services.