Top NavTop NavTop Nav

Univ. Police accepting expired, unused medicines April 28

  • April 3, 2012

The Cal State East Bay University Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration will give the university community and the general public an opportunity to dispose of unused and expired prescription drugs and medications Thursday, April 26, and Saturday, April 28 -- thus helping to prevent pill abuse and theft when such items are removed from homes.

The medication disposal program is open to the general public. The old medications can be brought to the Police Department located in LI-1063 on CSUEB's Hayward Campus, 25800 Carlos Bee Blvd. The service is free and anonymous.

Last October, Americans turned in 377,080 pounds—188.5 tons—of prescription drugs at more than 5,300 sites operated by the DEA and nearly 4,000 state and local law enforcement partners.  In its three previous Take Back events, the DEA and its partners took in almost a million pounds of pills, according to James Hodges, UPD chief for Cal State East Bay. 

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue, Hodges said.  He noted that medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.  Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.

Additional information is available by contacting Cal State East Bay's University Police Department at (510) 885-3791.


  • State and local law enforcement agencies will host one or more collection sites at locations of their choosing.  Locations should be selected that provide easy access and available parking.
  • Controlled, non-controlled, and over the counter substances may be collected.  The general public is often unaware of the distinction in medication status.
  • Collection efforts may be combined with community drug awareness activities and involve the distribution of brochures and other information.
  • This program is anonymous and all efforts should be made to protect the anonymity of individuals disposing of medications.  No questions or requests for identification should be made. 
  • Participants may dispose of medication in its original container or by removing the medication from its container and disposing of it directly into the disposal box.  If an original container is submitted, the individual should be encouraged to remove any identifying information from the prescription label.
  • No effort should be made by law enforcement personnel to count, inventory, or log medications. 
  • All solid dosage pharmaceutical product and liquids in consumer containers may be accepted.  Liquid products, such as cough syrup, should remain sealed in their original container.  The depositor should ensure that the cap is tightly sealed to prevent leakage.
  • Intra-venous solutions, injectibles, and syringes will not be accepted due to potential hazard posed by blood-borne pathogens.  
  • Illicit substances such as marijuana or methamphetamine are not a part of this initiative and should not be placed in collection containers.  If an individual attempts to surrender an illicit controlled substance, law enforcement personnel should handle such material as abandoned property in accordance with department policy.
  • All participants must retain possession of their own medication during the surrender process.  Law enforcement personnel should not handle the medications at any time.
  • A law enforcement officer must remain with the drug disposal box at all times.  Collected pharmaceutical products should be handled as drug evidence with law enforcement custody to safe-guard the surrendered material.
  • If you need additional collection boxes, you are authorized to use a container approved by your department as part of its standard operating procedures.
  • At the conclusion of the event, a law enforcement officer will seal the drug disposal boxes in accordance with your agency's policy and procedure.  It is recommended that the box be sealed with tamper-evident tape or evidence sticker.  Each box should be labeled as "Miscellaneous Pharmaceuticals” to be turned over to DEA."
  • The drug collection boxes should then be returned to your police department and stored per your department's standard operating procedures for safe keeping and temporary storage, or until they are turned over to DEA.
  • No hazardous materials or waste, firearms, or any other items other than pharmaceuticals will be accepted or disposed of at the collection sites.

Please ensure all boxes are taped, marked with agency name and weight in pounds and turned into DEA as soon as possible. Please coordinate with your local DEA point of contact in your AOR.

© California State University, East Bay. All Rights Reserved.