Narcan and Santa Maria Fire Department

Santa Maria Fire Department Battalion Chief Mike Farmer holds a dose of Narcan, an opioid overdose reversal nasal drug that firefighters carry on emergency calls. Farmer said firefighters frequently administer the life-saving antidote.

The Drug Enforcement Administration and Santa Maria Area Office of the California Highway Patrol are hosting National Take Back Day on Oct. 26, giving the public an opportunity to dispose of any unwanted, unused or expired prescription drugs.

The event will take place between 10 a.m and 2 p.m. at the Santa Maria Department of Motor Vehicles office, located at 523 S. McClelland St.

It’s the 18th such event in nine years and is meant to prevent pill abuse and theft.

The service is free and anonymous, and no questions will be asked, officials said.

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According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, Americans turned in nearly 469 tons of prescription drugs at nearly 6,300 sites operated by the agency and law enforcement partners across the country.

In its previous 17 Take Back events, the agency and its partners collected a total of approximately 11.8 million pounds of pills.

According to the agency, medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse and significantly contribute to accidental poisonings and overdoses.

Previous methods for disposing unused medicines, such as flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash, pose a potential safety and health hazard, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

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