Alexandria sheriff’s deputies collected 320 pounds of unwanted and potentially dangerous drugs during last weekend’s Drug Take Back. The event was held outside The Neighborhood Pharmacy at 2204 Mount Vernon Avenue on Saturday, July 16 through a partnership with the Alexandria Sheriff’s Office, the Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition of Alexandria, The Neighborhood Pharmacy, and Covanta.
While the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) coordinates two national Drug Take Back days each year, the Sheriff’s Office and its partners conducted this local effort in response to the community’s request for more frequent drug turn-in events.
Drug Take Back events address a critical public safety and public health issue. People may not be aware that medicines in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States exceed the combined rates of heroin, cocaine, and hallucinogenic drug use, and prescription drug abuse has resulted in thousands of fatal prescription drug overdoses, particularly from narcotic painkillers. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, abused prescription drugs are often obtained from family, friends and the home medicine cabinet.
Many people 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. Drug Take Back events provide the public with a convenient and secure way to safely dispose of expired, unused, and unwanted medications.
The next Drug Take Back events will be held on Saturday, October 22, as part of DEA’s National Drug Take Back initiative.