HISTORIC TRIANGLE — Local police jurisdictions are participating in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day this Saturday, Oct. 23.
The annual event was established in order to address the misuse of prescription drugs in the United States. According to the website for the U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), a national survey conducted in 2019, 9.7 million people misused prescription pain relievers, 4.9 million misused prescription stimulants, and 5.9 million misused prescription tranquilizers or sedatives.
Even more so, the survey showed that a majority of these misused prescriptions were obtained through family, friends, or found in one’s medicine cabinet.
What the Take Back event does is provide a safe place and opportunity to dispense of unused prescription drugs in order to aid in preventing drug addiction and overdose death.
In April 2021, the DEA reports that 4,425 law enforcement agencies across the country participated, a total of 5,060 collection sites were established and the total weight of prescription drugs collected was 839,543 lbs. (or 420 tons).
The Commonwealth of Virginia has seen an increase of overdose deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a release from Virginia’s Attorney General Mark R. Herring, 17.1 percent of all drug overdose deaths in Virginia during 2020 were attributed to including fentanyl; a 71.7 percent increase over the previous year. Additionally, 1,086 Virginians lost their lives between January and June 2020 to drug overdose from either cocaine, fentanyl, heroin, opioids or other drugs.
“Drug takeback days are a quick, safe, and easy way to dispose of unwanted or expired prescriptions that you may have lying around your house, making our homes, families, and communities safer and healthier,” said Herring. “Sadly, all too often addiction starts at home in the medicine cabinet when unused prescriptions fall into the hands of someone who could abuse them.”
The table below outlines where you can find a local participating location:
|Gloucester County Sheriff’s Office||Walmart Pharmacy table at the pharmacy||6819 Waltons Ln., Gloucester|
|James City County Police Dept. (JCCPD)||JCCPD Law Enforcement Center||4600 Opportunity Way, Williamsburg|
|New Kent County Sheriff’s Office||New Kent Sheriff’s Office||11995 Courthouse Circle, New Kent|
|Poquoson Police Department||Poquoson Pharmacy & Gifts||498 Wythe Creek Rd., Poquoson|
|Williamsburg Police Department||Williamsburg Fire Department||440 N. Boundary Street, Williamsburg|
|York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office||Public Works Complex||10 Service Dr., Yorktown|
For more information on National Prescription Drug Take Back Day or find other participating locations, visit the DEA’s website for the event.