Published: 10/24/2023



RIVERSIDE, CA – The Riverside Police Department, along with other law enforcement agencies around the nation, will be participating in the Drug Enforcement Administration’s “National Prescription Drug Take Back Day” on Saturday, October 28, 2023.


In partnership with Kaiser Permanente Riverside Medical Center, a drive-thru and drop off collection site will be set up across from the medical center at 3660 Park Sierra Drive from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Expired, unused, and/or unwanted pharmaceuticals will be collected and turned over to the DEA for safe destruction. The event is free, anonymous, and with no questions asked.


The purpose of this program is to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing prescription drugs, while also educating the public about the potential abuse of medications. In addition to prescription drugs, each site will also allow for the safe disposal of E-cigarettes and vape pens ONLY after the batteries have been removed from the device. Additionally, needles and syringes will not be collected at this event.


The “National Take Back Initiative” (NTBI) seeks to prevent pill abuse and theft through the collection of potentially dangerous and expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. The Riverside Police Department is once again collaborating with Kaiser Permanente Riverside Medical Center and will be collecting these types of drugs for proper disposal.


"At Kaiser Permanente, we care about the total health of our Southern California community, and we believe it's our duty to educate residents about the importance of the proper and safe disposal of prescription drugs," said Rhonda Polchak, vice president of Pharmacy Operations and Services for Kaiser Permanente Southern California.


Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. continue to rise, as is the number of accidental poisonings and overdoes to prescription drugs. According to a report published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, a majority of people who misused a prescription medication obtained the medicine from a family member or friend.


To help combat the continued vaping health crisis across the country, we will also be collecting vaping pens and cartridges at our collection site. Through discussions with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the DEA has determined that vaping pens without the internal batteries are considered household hazardous waste, the exact same waste designation as the collected pharmaceuticals and can therefore be co-mingled with those NTBI materials. Pens with batteries in them, however, are a different waste stream designation and, more importantly, are considered a potential fire hazard. For those that have batteries that cannot be removed, the consumer is urged to call their local hazardous waste management facility or check with large electronic chain stores who may accept the devices for proper disposal.


For more information regarding the National Take Back Initiative, visit