Local law enforcement agencies, Roanoke Area Youth Substance Abuse Coalition (RAYSAC), the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the Western Virginia Water Authority are partnering to collect expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs for destruction on Saturday, April 30th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at four area locations.
The public is invited to bring unused or unwanted medications to this free and anonymous event that is part of the nationwide prescription drug “Take-Back” program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) that seeks to prevent prescription pill abuse and theft. Local area collection sites include the Roanoke Civic Center parking lot, the Salem Police Department, the Tanglewood Kroger in Roanoke County and the Daleville Kroger in Botetourt County.
This initiative addresses vital public safety and public health issues. Many Americans are not aware that medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are increasing at alarming rates, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In fact, seven of the 10 most commonly abused drugs by teenagers are prescription medications.
In addition, many Americans do not know how to properly dispose of their unused medicine, often flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away – both potential safety and health hazards. Flushing medications down the drain results in trace amounts of pharmaceuticals showing up in our nations waterways.
By working together to provide a free, secure place to dispose of unwanted medications, the local law enforcement agencies, RAYSAC and the Western Virginia Water Authority are helping prevent drug abuse, protecting our valley’s waterways and making our communities safer.