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SFS to host National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – The 30th Security Forces Squadron’s Investigations Office, in conjunction with the Department of Justice’s Drug Enforcement Agency, is scheduled to host a National Prescription Drug Take Back Day here Oct. 29. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Gustavo Castillo)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – The 30th Security Forces Squadron’s Investigations Office, in conjunction with the Department of Justice’s Drug Enforcement Agency, is scheduled to host a National Prescription Drug Take Back Day here Oct. 29. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Gustavo Castillo)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The 30th Security Forces Squadron's Investigations Office, in conjunction with the Department of Justice's Drug Enforcement Agency, is scheduled to host a National Prescription Drug Take Back Day here Oct. 29.

According to the Justice Department's Office of Diversion Control website, the purpose of the event is to "provide a venue for persons who want to dispose of unwanted and unused prescription drugs."

Personnel with the 30th SFS will set up three locations around base with drop-off boxes. People will be able to take their unused prescription drugs to the drop-off boxes manned by security forces personnel at the Base Exchange, 30th SFS building and Community Center between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

"This event is anonymous," said Staff Sgt. Alejandra Gonzalez, from the 30th SFS Investigations Office. "We are only keeping track of the number of prescriptions turned in. Last year's event was a success with more than 200 containers of medications received."

According to the 2009 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's National Survey on Drug Use and Health, more than seven million Americans currently abuse prescription drugs. Partners for a Drug Free America reported that every day about 2,500 teens use prescription drugs to get high for the first time and studies have shown that the majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including the home medicine cabinet.

"This event will benefit the community by allowing the opportunity of the base populace to safely dispose of their unused or expired medications," said Gonzalez. "It will also aid in the prevention of prescription drug abuse. Additionally, it will help to educate the public that pouring medications down the drain or flushing them down the toilet is not safe for the environment and is an antiquated means of disposal."

The first National Prescription Drug Take Back Day event at Vandenberg was in 2010 after the 30th SFS contacted the DEA to participate in the nation-wide event.

"The 30th SFS is looking for maximum participation from Vandenberg members," said Gonzalez. "The event is open to anyone who has access to the installation."