Police departments across Orange County will collect expired and unneeded prescription medications Saturday.

Irvine, Newport Beach and Costa Mesa police will all host collections from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Anyone who wants to dispose of unused prescription drugs can drop them off freely and anonymously.

There will be two collection sites in Irvine, at the Irvine Civic Center, 1 Civic Center Plaza, and at the Kaiser Permanente Irvine Medical Center, 6670 Alton Parkway.

Newport Beach's collection site will be the Oasis Senior Center at 800 Narcissus Ave. And Costa Mesa police will collect the drugs in the department's lobby at 99 Fair Drive.

The event is part of a national event put on by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to help dispose of unused drugs to keep them from being misused or abused.

"This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue," Irvine police said in a news release. "Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet."

— Jeremiah Dobruck

Twitter: @jeremiahdobruck