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Dear Readers: Please note that this is not a City of Long Beach website and is not paid for nor maintained by taxpayer funds.

If you contact Gerrie Schipske through this site on any matter pertaining to the City of Long Beach, a copy of your contact will be forwarded to her official city email as an official public record.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Take Your Unused Medicine to a Safe Place

My staff and I worked with Memorial Medical Center several years ago about providing a safe place to drop off your unused medications and your used sharps and syringes which you might use for your medications.

Take a moment to drive by Memorial Medical Center this coming Saturday and drop these items off safely. Please do not dispose of your medications in the toilet or down the sink as they wind up in our drinking water supply.

Take a look at the presentation on how to safely dispose of these meds if you are unable to make it to Memorial Medical Center on Saturday.

Safe Disposal of Meds
The Long Beach Police Department has joined forces with Long Beach Memorial, to participate in the Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) National Pharmaceutical Take-Back initiative along with several other law enforcement agencies around the nation.

This initiative seeks to prevent increased pill abuse and theft through the collection of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs.  The last event held in April of 2012 yielded 518 pounds of pharmaceuticals and we are hoping that this event will be just as successful.

The event will offer a drive-thru service that is free and anonymous. Each car will receive a free giveaway (while supplies last), and the driver of the 25th, 50th and 75th participating vehicle will be awarded a pair of Aquarium of the Pacific tickets. The event will be held as follows:

Date:             Saturday, September 29, 2012
Time:            10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Location:      Long Beach Memorial
                      2801 Atlantic Avenue, Long Beach, CA
                      (enter main campus entrance off of Atlantic Avenue, drive through campus on
                      Memorial Medical Center Drive and exit onto Long Beach Boulevard)

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Many Americans are not aware that medications that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Prescription drug abuse in the United States is increasing at alarming rates, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to their availability. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from home medicine cabinets. In addition, many Americans do not know how to properly dispose of their unused medications, often flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away … both potential safety and health hazards.

Once collected, the unwanted pharmaceuticals will be turned over to the DEA who will safely destroy the drugs. For more information regarding the National Take Back Initiative, visit or contact the Long Beach Police Department’s Drug Investigations Section at (562) 570-7221.

In addition, the City of Long Beach Department of Health & Human Services will also be on hand at this event to collect sharps (lancets, hypodermic needles, and syringes).  According to California state law, it is illegal to dispose of home-generated sharps waste in the trash or recycling containers.  This type of waste must be disposed of in approved and properly labeled containers at sharps collection points, household hazardous waste roundup events, hazardous waste sites or through an approved medical waste mail-back service.  For additional information on the disposal of home-generated sharps, contact Glenn Fong at (562) 570-4147 or visit

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