Surprise residents with bottles of unwanted medicine can dispose of the contents in a safe manner later this month during a city-hosted event.

The Surprise Police Department will participate in a nationwide “Prescription Drug Take Back Day” April 30. The event is hosted by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. Police are asking residents to properly dispose of any unused, unneeded and expired medicine.

The initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue, based on information in a city news release.

Many Americans are not aware medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to theft, misuse and abuse, the news release stated.

Rates of prescription drug abuse are increasing at alarming rates as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses because of these drugs.

Studies show a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.

In addition, many Americans do not know how to properly dispose of their unused medicine, often flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away, both potential safety and health hazards.

The collection areas will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the following locations: Walgreens, 17088 W. Bell Road; Sun City Grand’s Sonoran Plaza, 19753 N. Remington Drive; and Surprise Fire Station No. 301, 16750 N. Village Drive East.

Collection sites in every local community can be found by visiting www.dea.gov.

The website will be updated with new take-back locations. Other participants in this initiative include state and local police departments, sheriff’s offices, the Arizona Attorney General’s Office and the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, Arizona Chapter.

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