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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, April 26, 2019

Prescription Drug Take Back Day Set for Saturday, April 27, 2019

Roanoke, VIRGINIA – United States Attorney Thomas T. Cullen announced today that the United States Attorney’s Office is proud to partner with the Drug Enforcement Administration, local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, and coalitions to collect expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs for safe destruction on Saturday, April 27, 2019 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. during Prescription Drug Take Back Day. Collections will take place at 18 area locations in the Roanoke Valley, and many more locations throughout the Western District.  The public is invited to bring unused, unwanted, and expired medications to this free and anonymous event that is part of the DEA’s nationwide prescription drug “Take-Back” program that seeks to prevent prescription pill abuse, theft, and environmental concerns.

“In 2017, more than 72,000 Americans died from fatal drug overdoses—more than the total number of troops killed during the Vietnam War,” U.S. Attorney Cullen stated today.  “We are committed to working with our federal, state, and local partners to reduce the supply of dangerous drugs, including unwanted prescription medications, but the public must also do its part by participating in National Drug Take-Back Day.” 

“Addiction causes a tremendous amount of pain and suffering, not just for those addicted to drugs, but also for their families and friends,” said Acting DEA Administrator Uttam Dhillon. “Helping people keep their loved ones safe by disposing of unwanted, unused, and expired prescription medications is just one of many ways that DEA is working to break the cycle of addiction and overdose deaths plaguing this country.”

This is the Roanoke Valley’s 17th drug take back event.  This Saturday there will be 18 collection locations in the valley:  Blacksburg Recreation Center parking lot, the Department of Veterans Affairs hospital entrance at Building 143 in Salem, CVS Pharmacy parking lots at 9th Street SE and Towers Shopping Center, , , Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, Kroger parking lots on Lake Drive Plaza in Vinton, Tanglewood Mall, Valley Gateway, in Daleville, in Westlake in Franklin County, and Rocky Mount, Ransone’s Drug Store parking lot in Botetourt County, Roanoke City Police Department Solutions Center, Market Street Pharmacy parking lot in Craig County, the Roanoke County Fire and Rescue Station #1 on Hershberger Road, the Super Shoes parking lot on West Main in Salem, Walgreens parking lot at the corner of Electric Road and Brambleton Avenue, and Virginia State Police Division VI Headquarters on Main Street in Salem. 

The public is encouraged to visit https://takebackday.dea.gov/ to find other collection sites sponsored by law enforcement throughout the region.  The site also includes a locator feature to find year-round disposal collection sites hosted at local law enforcement agencies. 

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., in the valley, and throughout the district continue at alarming rates, as are the numbers 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 district residents.

This initiative is sponsored by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in partnership with state, local, and federal law enforcement agencies, local businesses, and community coalitions.  

By working together to provide a free, secure place to dispose of unwanted medications, these partner agencies are helping prevent drug abuse, protecting our valley’s waterways, and making our communities safer. 

Topic(s): 
Prescription Drugs
Updated April 26, 2019