Consumers who have prescription drugs that are no longer needed or are expired can safely dispose of them on National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, Saturday, April 28, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced Thursday.

Unused medications in homes create a public health and safety concern because they are highly susceptible to accidental ingestion, theft or misuse. The proper disposal of unused drugs protects the environment and helps save lives.

The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications.

“We know that the majority of abused prescription drugs are from the home medicine cabinets of family and friends,” said CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith. “The Take-Back event is a valuable opportunity for everyone to help keep their loved ones safe.”

Visit the Drug Enforcement Administration website for locations throughout California or by calling, toll-free, (800) 882-9539. Events throughout the state run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. There is no charge.

Consumers can anonymously drop off pills and other solids, such as patches and well-sealed liquids. There will be no collection of sharps waste, such as needles and syringes at these sites.

According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.4 million Americans abused controlled prescription drugs. The study shows that a majority of abused prescriptions were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet.

The DEA’s Take-Back Day events provide an opportunity for Americans to prevent drug addiction and overdose deaths.

During the National Prescription Drug Take-Back event in October 2017, federal, state and local law enforcement partners across the country collected 456 tons of unwanted prescription drugs: Californians disposed of more than 35 tons of unwanted drugs, more than any other state.