The Hillsville Police Department (HPD), Carroll County Sheriff’s Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will take back unwanted prescription drugs at CVS Pharmacy on October 22.
A press release from the HPD indicates the “Take Back Day” is the 12th opportunity in six years for the public to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs. Participants are asked to bring pills for disposal to CVS at the Hickory Hill Shopping Center at 915 West Stuart Drive.
The DEA cannot accept liquids, needles or sharp objects; only pills or patches. The service is free to private citizens and anonymous with no questions asked. Commercial organizations such as doctor’s offices, hospitals, elder care facilities are advised to use their normal, routine means of destruction of out of date or unwanted medications, liquids or needles.
Last April, Americans turned in 447 tons, (over 893,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at almost 5,400 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,200 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 11 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in over 6.4 million pounds or about 3,200 tons of pills. Past Hillsville events alone have collected an average of more than 50 pounds to well over 100 pounds of out of date or no longer needed drugs on each collection date.
This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines which languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse.
According to the release, rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, 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 addition, Americans are now advised their usual methods for disposing unused medicines (flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash) pose potential safety and health hazards.
People may obtain more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the October 22 Take Back Day at the DEA Diversion web site or on the Hillsville Police Department Facebook page.