EAST CONTRA COSTA COUNTY -- Do you have some Vicodin you no longer need? Or a bottle of Zoloft that's outlived its shelf life?

The Brentwood and Oakley police departments can help.

Working in conjunction with the federal Drug Enforcement Administration to curb the theft and abuse of expired and unused prescription medications, these two police stations will be among those participating in the eighth National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day by serving as a drop-off location for unwanted pills or patches from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday -- no questions asked.

Brentwood's police department is at 9100 Brentwood Blvd. Oakley's department is at 3231 Main St.

The stations can't accept liquids or needles.

Reducing the number of medications that are doing nothing more than taking up room in home medicine cabinets helps counter the misuse of those drugs, most of which abusers obtain from friends and family, studies show.

Keeping unused pharmaceuticals lying around the house also contributes to accidental poisonings and overdoses.

And it's healthier for the environment to drop them off with the police rather than flush them down the toilet or toss them in the trash.

Last fall, Americans turned in 324 tons of prescription drugs to state and local law enforcement, bringing the total to about 1,700 tons over the past three years.

Contact Rowena Coetsee at 925-779-7141. Follow her at Twitter.com/RowenaCoetsee.