The Alexandria Police Department and the Alexandria Sheriff’s Office collected 122 pounds of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs for destruction at the first ever National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.
On Saturday, September 25th, 2010, from 10 A.M. – 2 P.M., the two Alexandria law enforcement agencies partnered with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in this initiative to help prevent increased pill abuse and theft.
Approximately 4,094 collections sites and 2,992 state and local law enforcement agencies participated in this first ever nationwide program this past Saturday. In Alexandria, residents dropped off unused prescription medications at two sites in the City. The sites included the Public Safety Center and the George Washington Masonic Memorial. The service was free and anonymous.
This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. 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 United States 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 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.
Other participants in this initiative include the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy; the Partnership for a Drug-Free America; the International Association of Chiefs of Police; the National Association of Attorneys General; the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy; the Federation of State Medical Boards; and the National District Attorneys Association.