South Bay gears up to get prescription pills off the street

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- As President Trump declares the opioid crisis a public health emergency, Santa Clara County is preparing for National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.

RELATED: Trump declares opioids a public health emergency

On Saturday, Oct. 28, people are asked to take any unused or expired prescription medications to a drop off location for proper disposal.
Drop off locations include police departments and fire stations.

Proponents of the event say people are unknowingly becoming drug dealers, because family members and friends, often teenagers, are stealing prescription drugs for recreational use.

Taking pills in the wrong dosage or mixing the wrong combination can be deadly.

RELATED: Middle aged women prescribed twice as many opioids as middle aged men, report finds

Captain Mitch Matlow of the San Jose Fire Department shared a personal story with ABC7 News.

He's currently on medical leave due to neck surgery and he said a teenager visitor to his home stole some of his prescription pain killers. Capt. Matlow now keeps his medications in a lock box. He said if it could happen to him, it could happen to anyone and he's encouraging everyone to participate in the Take Back event.

On Thursday, President Trump declared a Public Health Emergency for the country's opioid crisis.

The declaration does not provide any additional money to fight the opioid epidemic, but it does allow agencies to redirect resources.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says more than 140 Americans die every day from drug overdoses -- including 91 specifically from opioids.

Click here to look up a drop off location near you.
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