Contra Costa County health officials said they want to help end the abuse of opioid prescriptions that has reached epidemic proportions throughout the country, and they are attempting to do so by offering residents safe places to properly dispose of unused and unwanted medications.
By establishing safe disposal sites -- seven of which are located in the San Ramon Valley -- the Contra Costa Health Services Department seeks to comply with the Board of Supervisors' 2016 safe drug disposal ordinance, which in turn seeks to reduce accidental poisoning as well as intentional misuse.
“Safe storage and disposal of medications is one of the easiest and most important ways that each of us can help turn our county’s opioid abuse epidemic around,” said April Rovero, founder of the National Coalition Against Prescription Drug Abuse and chair of the Contra Costa County MEDS Coalition.
“This new medication disposal program will help save both lives and our environment by making appropriate disposal as easy as stopping by a nearby CVS Pharmacy or Kaiser Permanente,” Contra Costa County Supervisor Diane Burgis added.
In total, 27 safe disposal locations have been established at participating CVS pharmacies and 10 more at Kaiser facilities throughout the county. Disposal sites are free, secure and confidential, and drugs and packaging placed in the drop boxes will be properly and safely destroyed, according to county officials.
Seven of the participating locations are in the San Ramon Valley:
* CVS, 3158 Danville Blvd., Alamo
* CVS, 3420 Camino Tassajara, Danville
* CVS, 650 San Ramon Valley Blvd., Danville
* CVS, 9120 Alcosta Blvd., San Ramon
* CVS, 490 Market Place, San Ramon
* CVS, 2455 San Ramon Valley Blvd., San Ramon
* Kaiser Permanente facility 931, 2300 Camino Ramon, first floor, San Ramon
On the national level, local U.S. Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord), has spent the past year working to pass legislation to help fight the opioid epidemic.
“We are currently in the midst of the worst public health crisis in the past three decades—whole communities and families have been devastated by the effects of opioids, and over two million Americans are in the grips of opioid addiction,” he said in a statement.
A full list of locations in Contra Costa County can be found online courtesy the Med-Project plan.
A mail-back service is also provided for residents who have disabilities that affect their mobility.