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Empty Medicine Cabinets To Prevent Drug Abuse

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Sonora, CA – In tandem with their efforts to battle prescription drug abuse both Tuolumne and Calaveras counties are staging “drug take back” days this week.

According to Tuolumne County Health Officer Dr. Liza Ortiz, Friday and Saturday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at The Junction Shopping Center off Mono Way in Sonora, the Sheriff’s Office and nonprofit community youth and family YES Partnership will stage collection areas where those seeking to dispose of medications may safely do so. “If possible, it is useful if [people] take [the medications] out of the bottle and put them into a ziplock bag – it speeds things up quite a bit,” Dr. Ortiz advises. Public outreach materials on opioid abuse prevention and naloxone, a medication used to reverse overdoses, will also be available.

In Calaveras County, a “Drop the Drugs Day” is also being held on Saturday from 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at both the Angels Camp Office of Education (185 S. Main St.) and Toyon Middle School (3412 Double Springs Road) in Valley Springs. The effort is being jointly sponsored by the Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office; Angels Camp Police; Calaveras County Behavioral Health Services; Office of Education; and the Alliance for Substance Abuse Prevention.

For those who are not able to take advantage of the events, permanent drop boxes are available in the lobbies of the Calaveras Sheriff’s Office (1045 Jeff Tuttle Dr.) in San Andreas and at the Angels Camp Police Department (200 Monte Verda St.) Law enforcement officials maintain that the boxes may be used to get rid of unused, expired and/or illegal drugs, no questions asked.

As previously reported here, community drug abuse prevention events like these and other outreach efforts are part of both counties’ planned responses to address a nationwide prescription drug and heroin epidemic that has also impacted the Mother Lode.