Drop off unused/expired prescription drugs to the San Diego County Sheriff’s department.


Prescription Drug Drop Box

Unwanted, unused or expired prescription drugs have been determined to present substantial risks to our community by either falling into the wrong hands, or by damaging our environment through improper disposal. It is this awareness that has resulted in the San Diego County Sheriff and the Board of Supervisors working together to provide a safe alternative method to dispose of unwanted pharmaceuticals.

The Problem

Studies have shown that residential supplies of pharmaceutical controlled substances – those found in our home medicine cabinets – have become the supply of choice for young people and criminals. Many abusers, a high percentage of which are teens, are known to have obtained their controlled substances from the homes of family and friends. In addition, research has shown that our environment has been threatened by medications being flushed down toilets. Most controlled substances are created synthetically, and are not removed through normal water-treatment processes. This can result in the discharge of these substances into the environment and into our ground water supplies.

The Solution

The Sheriff’s Department and the Oxy-Contin Task Force have participated in prescription drug “take-back” days in which the public could turn in unwanted medication at specified sites. With the most recent event collecting over 2,500 pounds of controlled substances, the need for safe collection of these substances became even more apparent.

The Sheriff’s Department is pleased to announce the installation of secure collection drop-boxes at several Sheriff’s facilities. Community members are now welcome to come to any of the facilities listed below where unwanted medications may be turned in anonymously. Click the name of any station to get more information about the station and its location.

Sheriff’s Headquarters Julian Substation
Alpine Station Borrego Springs Office
Encinitas Station Boulevard-Jacumba Office
Imperial Beach Station Campo Substation
Lemon Grove Station Pine Valley Substation
Poway Station Ranchita Substation
San Marcos Station George Bailey Detention Facility
Santee Station Las Colinas Detention Facility
Vista Station San Diego Central Jail
Fallbrook Substation South Bay Detention Facility
Ramona Substation Vista Detention Facility
Valley Center Substation 4S Ranch Substation

Medications in standard containers may be deposited in those containers. Loose medication can be put into plastic bags available at the collection box and then deposited. Please ensure any liquid medication is enclosed in secure containers before depositing.

Portable Drug Drop Box

Once collected, evidence staff will ensure the medication is disposed of according to State and Federal laws.
If your community or organization is partnering with the Sheriff’s Department for a community event, you may request we bring a portable drop box to the event for the secure collection of unwanted prescription drugs. The box weighs about 40 pounds, and can be set up on a table at your event. Contact your local station for more information.