Drug take back day events set regionally for Saturday

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and its community partners will hold the second nationwide prescription drug take back day from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. April 30, operating collection sites throughout the nation where unused, unneeded or expired prescription medications can be turned in.

Unused or expired prescription medications are a public safety issue because they lead to accidental poisoning, overdose and abuse, according to the DEA. Homes with children or elderly persons are especially vulnerable to the danger and need to take preventive steps, including getting rid of old, unused medications.

The DEA and the Food and Drug Administration discourage citizens from disposing of unused medications by flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the garbage due to potential safety, health and environmental hazards.

Last September, Americans turned in 242,000 pounds—121 tons—of prescription drugs at nearly 4,100 sites operated by the DEA and more than 3,000 state and local law enforcement partners.

Locally, take back sites will be set up in these locations:

  • Waynesboro Wal-Mart —116 Lucy Lane, Waynesboro. Coordinated by the Waynesboro Police Department (540.942.6675).
  • Rockingham County Fairgrounds—4808 South Valley Pike Road, Harrisonburg. Coordinated by the Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office (540.564.3850).
  • Timberville Food Lion—14054 Timber Way, Timberville. Coordinated by Broadway and Timberville Police Departments (540.896.3321 or 540.896.1174, respectively).
  • Elkton Police Department—173 West Spotswood Trail, Elkton. Coordinated by the Elkton Police Department (540.298.9441).
  • Grottoes Town Park—1100 20th Street, Grottoes. Coordinated by the Grottoes Police Department (540.249.5707).

Drugs may be left in their original containers or emptied into the bins. After the drugs are collected, they will be incinerated according to federal and state environmental guidelines.

The drugs collected will be in the custody of a law enforcement officer until they are incinerated.

No questions will be asked of anyone about the drugs brought for disposal. The DEA asks that no syringes, marijuana or other street drugs be left at disposal sites.

In an effort to address the problem of prescription drug abuse, the DEA, in conjunction with state and local law enforcement agencies throughout the United States, conducted the first-ever National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, Sept. 25, 2010. Nearly 3,000 state and local law enforcement agencies throughout the nation participated in the event, and Americans turned in 121 tons of pills on that day, according to the DEA website. Due to the overwhelming success of the first event, DEA has scheduled this second take back day.

To learn more about the dangers of prescription drugs, visit www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com, a website for parents, and www.JustThinkTwice.com, a site for teens.

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