Prescription Drug Drop Boxes

Unwanted, unused or expired prescription drugs present substantial risks to our community by either falling into the wrong hands, or by damaging our environment through improper disposal. It is this awareness that has resulted in the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office providing a safe alternative method to dispose of unwanted pharmaceuticals.

The Problem

Studies have shown that residential supplies of pharmaceutical controlled substances found in our homes and medicine cabinets have become the supply of choice for young people and criminals. Many abusers, a high percentage of which are teens, are known to have obtained their controlled substances from the homes of family and friends. In addition, research has shown that our environment has been threatened by medications being flushed down toilets. Most pharmaceutical controlled substances are created synthetically, and are not removed through normal water-treatment processes. This can result in the discharge of these substances into the environment and into our ground water supplies.

The Solution

Over the years the Sheriff’s Office and the YES Partnership have participated in prescription drug “take-back” days in which the public can turn in unwanted medication at specified sites. Unfortunately these events are only held a few times a year. The Sheriff’s Office has recently installed a secure collection drop-box at the main office in Sonora. The public is now able to come to the Sheriff’s Office and dispose of any unwanted medication twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. The drop-box is located in the lobby at 28 N. Lower Sunset Drive, in Sonora. Medications in standard containers may be deposited in this container. Loose medications can be put into plastic bags available at the collection box and then deposited. Please ensure any liquid medications are enclosed in secure containers before depositing. Once collected, evidence staff will ensure the medication is disposed of according to State and Federal laws.