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Prescribe Safe - Santa Barbara County

  • Operation Medicine Cabinet

Operation Medicine Cabinet

Prescribe Safe Santa Barbara County - Medications - Pills

In response to growing demand for a safe, convenient way to dispose of household medications, the Sheriff ’s Office teamed up with County Public Works to install drop boxes at each of the Sheriff ’s nine substations throughout the county.

Residents can drop off all types of unwanted medications, including prescription and over- the-counter drugs.

Collection Locations

The Sheriff ’s Office will accept unwanted household medications at each of its nine substations throughout the county. Unless otherwise noted, all drop-boxes are located outside in front of the stations.

Carpinteria – 5775 Carpinteria Avenue
(805) 684-4561

Santa Barbara – 4434 Calle Real
(805) 681-4100

Goleta – 7042 Market Place Drive
(805) 571-1540
* Drop-box is located inside the lobby and accessible 24 hours a day

Isla Vista – 6504 Trigo Road
(805) 681-4179

Lompoc – 3500 Harris Grade
(805) 737-7737

Buellton – 140 West Highway 246
(805) 686-8150

Solvang – 1745 Mission Drive
(805) 686-5000

Santa Maria – 812-A West Foster Road
(805) 934-6150

New Cuyama – 215 Newsome Street
(661) 766-2310

Why Is It Important to Get Rid of Unwanted Medications?

  • Teenagers and young adults are abusing medications – some taken right from their parents’ or grandparents’ medicine cabinet – at an alarming rate.
  • Young children and pets accidentally ingest medications found around the home, leading to potential poisoning.
  • Seniors can mistakenly mix incompatible medications or take expired drugs that may be harmful to them.

Why should we avoid flushing medications or throwing them in the trash?

  • Wastewater treatment facilities are not designed to remove many of the constituents found in medications, so these materials pass untreated into our water system. Researchers have detected trace elements of medications in numerous water bodies nationwide.
  • Medications thrown in the trash are susceptible to retrieval by individuals or pets, and when sent to the landfill can potentially enter the environment.

The Following Items Can Be Deposited in the Medication Drop Boxes

  • Over-the-counter medications
  • Prescription medications
  • Medication samples
  • Medications for household pets
  • Medicated lotions or ointments

The Following Items Are NOT Accepted

  • Needles or other “sharps”
  • Hazardous waste
  • Thermometers
  • Personal care products (e.g. non-medicated shampoo, soap, perfume, etc.)
  • Trash
  • Mail
  • Lost and found materials
  • Empty containers
  • Business/professional waste

Please empty pills into a plastic bag that can be securely closed (e.g. Ziploc) and then place the bag in the drop-box. Place empty bottles, with personal information removed or concealed, in your curbside recycling bin.

Remember, this program is for household medications only. Medical professionals are not eligible.

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