FAIRFIELD — “This is about making people aware of what’s in their medicine cabinets,” said Jeff Conner, crime prevention specialist for the Fairfield Police Department.
A line of cars rolled through the parking lot of the former Sullivan Middle School, Saturday, stopping briefly while an officer took a bag of prescription drugs from the first car, which had an elderly lady.
The Prescription Drug Take Back Day was held by Fairfield Police along with the Fairfield Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drugs Taskforce to help properly dispose of prescription drugs, such as pills or liquids.
“People sometimes forget what they have in the medicine cabinet and this is a safe way to get rid of those medications,” Conner said.
They had already filled four barrels by 10 a.m., and were looking at 250 pounds of waste to be incinerated.
“We predict that it will be about 600 pounds of waste by 1 p.m. So far we have had 70 people come by,” he said.
A growing problem across America is the abuse of legal prescription drugs by youth, Conner said.
“If you have somebody who is going to abuse drugs, they will do it with prescription drugs from grandma and grandpa because they may not be aware of what they have in the house,” Conner said.
“The abuse of prescription drugs in Fairfield is almost equal to illegal drugs. That is why we want people to bring in their prescriptions if they don’t need them and we will dispose of them properly,” he said.
Abe Bautista, of Vacaville, wanted to drop his old drugs off at the hospital but they wouldn’t take them. He was frustrated at the inconvenience but glad of the drug pickup.
“I waited and tried to do one last month but I was out of town. Before that, I tried another pickup but didn’t make it,” Bautista said.
“This is a good thing. It’s a shame to toss out the medication because some of them cost me in the thousands, but I got better and didn’t need them after I recovered from surgery,” he said.
“We don’t want people to throw pills down the sink or toilet because they can end up in the marsh. It’s best to hold the medication for the next pickup. Just be aware of the count of pills in the bottle to make sure no one is using them,” Conner said.
For more information on the next prescription pickup day, go to www.fairfield.ca.gov.
Reach Susan Hiland at 427-6981 or firstname.lastname@example.org.