ROANOKE, VA – Local law enforcement agencies, Roanoke Area Youth Substance Abuse Coalition (RAYSAC), the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the Western Virginia Water Authority partnered to collect expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs for destruction on Saturday, September 27 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at nine area locations. 2,168 pounds of medications were collected at the nine collection locations in the valley: the Target at Valley View parking lot, the Super Shoes parking lot on West Main in Salem, the Vinton Kroger parking lot on Hardy Road, the Daleville Kroger parking lot in Botetourt County and four sites in Roanoke County including the Tanglewood Kroger parking lot, the Brambleton (at Colonial Ave.) Kroger parking lot, the Bonsack Kroger parking lot and the Roanoke County Fire and Rescue Station #1 on Hershberger Road.
This initiative addressed vital public safety and public health issues. Many Americans are not aware that medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are increasing at alarming rates, 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 fact, seven of the 10 most commonly abused drugs by teenagers are prescription medications.
In addition, many Americans 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. Flushing medications down the drain results in trace amounts of pharmaceuticals showing up in our nations waterways.
By working together to provide a free, secure place to dispose of unwanted medications, the local law enforcement agencies, the DEA, RAYSAC and the Western Virginia Water Authority are helping prevent drug abuse, protecting our valley’s waterways and making our communities safer.