TRI-VALLEY -- The Danville, Pleasanton, San Ramon and Livermore police departments are working with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to host free prescription drug drop-offs in conjunction with the national Take Back Initiative.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, residents may drop off unused and expired prescription drugs at the Pleasanton police station, 4833 Bernal Ave.; the San Ramon police station, 2401 Crow Canyon Road; or in front of the Livermore police station at 1110 S. Livermore Ave.

Danville will collect expired drugs from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the town offices, 510 La Gonda Way. Anyone who misses the take-back day may still drop off pharmaceuticals in a special bin at the front desk of the police department.

According to a national survey conducted in 2009 by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration, more than 7 million Americans currently abuse prescription drugs. Also, studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from home medicine cabinets.

In April, Americans turned in 552,161 pounds, 276 tons. of prescription drugs at more than 5,600 sites operated by the DEA and nearly 4,300 state and local law enforcement partners.

In its four previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners took in more than 1.5 million pounds, nearly 775 tons,of pills.

Residents attending either of the drop-offs may dispose of medication in its original container or by removing the medication from its container and disposing of it directly into the disposal box. If an original container is submitted, the individual should remove any identifying information from the prescription label. All solid dosage pharmaceutical products and liquids in consumer containers may be dropped.

Intravenous solutions, injectibles, and syringes will not be accepted due to potential hazards posed by blood-borne pathogens.

-- Erin Ivie and Katie Nelson, staff