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 are partnering to collect expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs for destruction on Saturday, September 29th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at seven area locations. 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.
This is the valley’s 5th such take-back event. To date, over 3,632 pounds of prescription medications have been turned in for proper disposal making our area one of the largest collection locations in the state. This year there will be seven collection locations: the Roanoke Civic Center parking lot, the Super Shoes parking lot on W. Main Street in Salem, the Tanglewood Kroger parking lot in Roanoke County, the Daleville Kroger parking lot in Botetourt County, the Vinton Kroger parking lot on Hardy Road, the Roanoke County Public Safety Center on Cove Road and the Roanoke County Firestation #1 on Hershberger Road.
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. 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, flushing medications down the drain can result in trace amounts of pharmaceuticals showing up in our nations waterways. This initiative offers a safe and convenient disposal option for the valley residents.
This iniitiative is sponsored by RAYSAC, the Western Virginia Water Authority, Prevention Council of Roanoke County, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Roanoke County Police Department, Roanoke Police Department, Botetourt County Sheriff’s Department, Salem Police Department, Roanoke County Sheriff’s Department, Vinton Police Department and the U.S. Attorney’s Office Western District of Virginia.
By working together to provide a free, secure place to dispose of unwanted medications, the local law enforcement agencies, RAYSAC and the Western Virginia Water Authority are helping prevent drug abuse, protecting our valley’s waterways and making our communities safer.