County of Marin - News Releases - Drug Take-Back Day

For Immediate Release
September 09, 2014

Purge Your Medicine Cabinet on Sept. 27

Prevent misuse and abuse on Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

San Rafael, CA – It’s an eye-opening statistic: One of four Marin County adults needs help for substance abuse, alcohol abuse or mental health problems. To address the widespread availability of prescription drugs, agencies across Marin County will participate in the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Take-Back Day on September 27, giving residents a chance to rid their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.

Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends.

“Most people don’t think of their medicine cabinets as potential sources of harm,” said Dr. Matthew Willis, Marin County Public Health Officer. “This Take-Back Day is the perfect time to purge your home of unwanted medications and resolve to keep it that way.”

The Marin County Sheriff’s Office and Marinwood Fire Department will accept pills for disposal at Marinwood Fire Department at 777 Miller Creek Road in San Rafael. Police stations in Fairfax, Mill Valley, Novato, San Rafael, Tiburon and at the College of Marin will accept pills as well.

In Marin, a wide range of experts, community advocates, agencies, parents, pharmacists and health care partners are collaborating to tackle what’s described as an epidemic: prescription drug misuse. RxSafe Marin is a grassroots community initiative to address the problem, fueled by the fact that drug overdose deaths and treatment admissions for prescription drug addiction continue to escalate in Marin.

Marin residents have disposed of approximately 2,763 pounds of unwanted medications since program participation started in April 2011. Last April, Americans turned in a staggering 390 tons (more than 780,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at nearly 6,100 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,400 of its state and local law enforcement partners.

DEA Special Agent in Charge Jay Fitzpatrick said prescription drug abuse continues to be a serious problem, crossing all age, gender and socioeconomic boundaries in communities throughout Northern California. “We look forward to working with our local partners in combating this public health and safety issue,” he said.

Tips When Dropping Off Pills/Patches:

1.) Take pills out of their containers and put them in small plastic bags for safe disposal at the locations between 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

2.) Sites cannot accept liquids, needles or sharps, only pills or patches.

3.) The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.


Dr. Matthew Willis
Public Health Officer
Health and Human Services

3240 Kerner Blvd.
San Rafael, CA 94901
(415) 473-4163
Email: Dr. Matthew Willis
Marin HHS website