NRV police departments and DEA plan dropoffs for unwanted prescription drugs
Several local police departments are holding drug take backs this weekend as part of a nationwide initiative to provide ways to safely dispose of unwanted prescription drugs.
The Drug Enforcement Administration is hosting its fifth National Drug Take-Back Day Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
There will be six drop-off sites in the New River Valley in Christiansburg, Blacksburg, Radford, Dublin, Pulaski and Pearisburg, according to a list on the DEA’s website.
The take backs are free and anonymous. According to a press release sent out by several local police departments, take backs aim to reduce incidents of prescription drug abuse, which often occur after “drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.”
No questions will be asked of those who decide to drop off medications, the release said.
Officer Megan Jennings with the Pulaski Police Department said the department has hosted four take backs over the last two years as part of the national initiative. In April, the department collected 180 pounds of unwanted, expired and unused medication, which was sent to Richmond to be incinerated, Jennings said.
“It keeps the drugs out of the wrong hands, whether it be a drug abuser or a child,” Jennings said. “I’ve heard a lot of people like to flush their medicines down the toilet, but it may get into the water supply. It’s good to have a proper disposal.”
Jennings said drop-off sites will accept all medications – including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins and veterinary drugs.
“We just want to clean out those cabinets,” Jennings said.
Terence Sullivan, a DEA assistant special agent in charge in Richmond, said flushing pills down the toilet is a safety and health hazard, while throwing pills out makes the medications accessible to the public.
“With the take backs, you know it has been taken care of and it’s foolproof,” Sullivan said.
More than 1.5 million pounds of drugs have been collected nationally from the four previous take-back events, Sullivan said.
There will be 180 drop-off sites across the state Saturday.
To find information on site locations, visit www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/.
The Roanoke Times | 381-8621
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