The City of Roanoke will once again partner in the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day taking place on Oct. 23 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. across the Roanoke Region. Local law enforcement agencies, Roanoke Area Youth Substance Abuse Coalition (RAYSAC), the Prevention Council of Roanoke County, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and the Western Virginia Water Authority are partnering again this year to collect expired, unused, and unwanted medications for safe destruction at convenient parking lot locations across the valley. Vaping devices and cartridges will also be collected at any of the drop off locations as long as the lithium ion batteries have been removed. Veterinarian medications are also collected. No sharps or syringes will be accepted.
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 that seeks to prevent prescription pill abuse, theft and environmental concerns. Since these take-back events started in 2010, over 39,000 pounds of prescription medications have been turned in by Roanoke Valley citizens for proper disposal. The event is rain or shine.
Medication take-back locations will be set-up in parking lots across the valley:
• Roanoke City: Towers Mall CVS; Solutions Center- 2328 Melrose Ave; and 9th Street CVS
• Botetourt County: Penelope in Daleville (52 Kingston Drive); Soloman's Mission- Buchanan
• Salem: Super Shoes (Main Street); VA Medical Center West Gate/Main Bldg; Virginia State Police Headquarters
• Roanoke County: Kroger at Tanglewood; Kroger at Valley Gateway Blvd.; Clearbrook Walmart; Lewis Gale Cave Spring ER- 2706 Odgen Road; Walgreens at Electric Road and Brambleton; Fire Station #1 on Hershberger at Plantation
• Vinton: Kroger on Hardy Road
• Franklin County: Westlake Sheriff's Office; Rocky Mount Police Department
This initiative addresses vital public safety and public health issues. Medications that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. and in the valley are increasing at alarming rates as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that 90% of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In fact, the majority of commonly abused drugs by teenagers are prescription medications.
In addition, flushing medications down the drain can result in trace amounts of pharmaceuticals showing up in our nation’s waterways. This initiative offers a safe and convenient disposal option for the valley residents. All medicine collected at these events is burned in the state’s medical incinerators. By working together to provide a free, secure place to dispose of unwanted medications, the DEA, law enforcement agencies, RAYSAC, the Prevention Council, and Western Virginia Water Authority are helping prevent drug abuse, protecting our valley’s waterways and making our communities safer.
To learn more about this initiative, visit www.takethemback.org/. To refer to the full list of all regional sites, visit http://www.dea.gov.