Leonardtown, Maryland –OnSaturday, April 28, from9 a.m. to 1 p.m.the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office, in conjunction with the St. Mary’s County Health Department will give the public an opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.Bring your pills for disposal to one of three locations: District 1 Station – 37575 Charlotte Hall School Road – Charlotte Hall,Sheriff’s OfficeHeadquarters – 23150 Leonard Hall Drive – Leonardtown and St. Mary’s Square – 21600 Great Mills Road, Lexington Park.(Please note: the Sheriff’s Office cannot accept needles or sharps.)The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

In past years, St. Mary’s County residents have turned in nearly 1.5 million prescription pills at multiple community events and sites operated by the Sheriff’s Office. Nationally, previous Take Back events, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice,Drug Enforcement Administration and its partners have taken in over 8.1 million pounds—more than 4,050 tons—of pills.

This initiative addresses a vital public health and safety issue.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.

For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about theApril 28Take Back Day event, go towww.smartaboutmeds.org/disposal.