SAN DIEGO — According to the North Coastal Prevention Coalition, 22 locations around San Diego took part in the DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday.

As it turns out, Tri-City Medical Center’s Chief of External Affairs, Aaron Byzak helped start the national event back in 2009. At the time, Byzak was the founding co-chair of the Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force of San Diego County.

This task force, according to a press release from Tri-City Medical Center, pioneered one of the first large-scale take-back events in the country and helped spur its adoption nationwide.

“Far too many young people have access in their immediate surroundings to these drugs, whether it is in their own medicine cabinet or out in the community,” said Byzak.

With the help of law enforcement, drive-up drop box locations were set up for people to dispose of unused prescriptions safely, said Tri-City Medical Center. The DEA takes these drugs and incarnates them, officials explained.

For those who missed National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, there are various sites around the San Diego region that offer year-round drop-off. You can find an interactive map here.

“It is important if you see an opportunity to reduce risk in the community that you take it,” said Byzak.