On Oct. 28 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., the City of Falls Church Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will offer the community a chance to help prevent pill abuse and theft by emptying their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs. Residents should bring their pills for disposal to the Community Center (223 Little Falls St., Falls Church). Note that the DEA cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills or patches. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. 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 that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines – flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash – both pose potential safety and health hazards.