Law enforcement agencies throughout Sarasota County will participate in the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) national event to “take back” and properly dispose of prescription medication on Saturday, April 27, 2013, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office has permanent drop boxes at the Criminal Justice Center, 2071 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota, which is open 24-hours a day, and the south county office, 4531 State Road 776, Venice, where the hours are 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

The Sarasota Police Department, Venice Police Department and North Port Police Department also have permanent drop boxes in each of their lobbies and are participating in Saturday’s event as well.

Medication turn-in is always anonymous. Prescription and over-the-counter solid dosage medications such as tablets and capsules are accepted. While all of these boxes are available to the public year-round, the agencies participate in the national take back initiative to publicize the permanent option for proper disposal.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Prescription drug abuse rates 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.