April 22, 2024
The public will be able to drop off unwanted, expired or unused medications at locations around the country, thanks to a DEA and state police-sponsored program. / File photo.

The Virginia State Police and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will hold its 17th National Drug Take-Back Initiative on Saturday, April 27, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Anyone with expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs will be able to turn them in, with could potentially prevent abuse or theft.

The Virginia State Police are hosting sites at Division Headquarters across the state. You can bring your pills for disposal to a collection site near you. Sites in the Northern Shenandoah Valley area include:

Take Back Day: Saturday, April 27, 2019, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

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The DEA cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills or patches. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

Last October, Americans turned in over 5,439 tons (about 10.9 million pounds) of prescription drugs at more than 5,800 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,770 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 10 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in over 5.5 million pounds, more than 2,750 tons of pills.

A media release from the Virginia State Police states that the initiative “addresses a vital public safety and public health issue.” Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.

The release further states that studies indicate that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the bathroom medicine cabinet.

For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs, or about the April 27 Take-Back Day event, go to the DEA Diversion Website.

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