The new prescription medicine disposal unit marks the Antioch Police Department's launch of a permanent drop-off program designed to prevent drug abuse and misuse in the community, police said.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Antioch Police Station at 300 L Street.
The department's new disposal program is part of a the White House's Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Plan, according to the National Coalition Against Prescription Drug Abuse, or NCAPDA.
Disposing of unused prescription drugs is a key step in preventing misuse of those medicines, particularly by adolescents, said NCAPDA Founder and CEO April Rovero.
According to Contra Costa Health Services, seven million Americans abuse prescription drugs. Additionally, some 2,500 teens each day use prescription medicine to get high for the first time, usually with drugs prescribed to family or friends, county health officials said.
"I can't stress enough how important it is, especially for parents, to lock up their medications and dispose of those they no longer need as a matter of habit," Rovero said in a statement. "Parents can unwittingly become their child's drug supplier, with devastating consequences."
The NCAPDA gifted Antioch police with the medicine collection unit through a donation from the creators of the box, Medreturn, according to Rovero.