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National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

Virginia will participate, Saturday, September 26, 2015 in the tenth National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. Sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), this collaborative effort between state and local law enforcement agencies provides residents with an opportunity to dispose of potentially dangerous controlled substances in their medicine cabinets in an environmentally safe manner.Healthcare practitioners are encouraged to advise patients about this service and to remind them it is free and anonymous with no questions asked. Collection activities will take place from 10:00 a.m. through 2:00 p.m. at sites coordinated by law enforcement throughout Virginia. To find a collection site nearby or for more information, click on the following link: http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/.

Proper disposal of controlled substances was identified by Governor McAuliffe’s Task Force on Prescription Drug and Heroin Abuse as an important strategy in fighting the overdose crisis in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Last year 508 Virginia residents died from a prescription opiate overdose, and more people died in Virginia from prescription drug and heroin overdoses than in auto accidents. Too often unused prescription drugs are simply left in medicine cabinets; in one survey teens cited the ease of obtaining drugs from home medicine cabinets as their top reason for using them.

Drug Take-Back Days provide an effective and environmentally friendly way for the proper disposal of prescription drugs. Flushing medication down the toilet present environmental and public health concerns. Last year, Virginia collected 22,855 pounds of prescription drugs from over 200 collection sites statewide.

Health care practitioners can directly impact prescription drug abuse by educating patients regarding the proper disposal of medications. Please consider posting or providing to your patients the attached information regarding this opportunity to properly dispose of unwanted drugs.

For more information please contact Ralph Orr, Director of the Virginia Prescription Monitoring Program at804-367-4566 or by email at pmp@dhp.virginia.gov.

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