On Saturday, April 27 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., the City of Falls Church Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public an opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. Bring your pills for disposal to the Community Center (223 Little Falls St., Falls Church) during this event. Note that the DEA cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills or patches. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
Last October, Americans turned in over 914,236 pounds of unwanted medicines through over 5,839 collection sites nationwide. In Virginia alone, 22,345 pounds of unwanted medicines were collected at 191 sites state-wide.
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 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.
For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the April 27 Take Back Day event, go to the DEA Diversion website: www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/index.html.