Drugs collected in Drug Take Back help prevent abuse and theft of medication, Alexandria deputies collected more than 150 pounds of unwanted and potentially dangerous drugs at the Drug Take Back in Del Ray over the weekend. The event, held outside The Neighborhood Pharmacy at 2204 Mount Vernon Avenue on Saturday, June 6, was the result of a partnership with the Sheriff’s Office, The Neighborhood Pharmacy, Del Ray Business Association (DRBA) and the Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition of Alexandria.
Sheriff Dana Lawhorne expressed his appreciation to pharmacist Stacey Swartz for sponsoring and hosting the event and to DRBA for funding the cost of disposal, adding that “This is another great example of a public-private partnership that benefits Alexandria.”
Drug Take Back events address a critical public safety and public health issue. People may not be aware that medicines in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States exceed the combined rates of heroin, cocaine, and hallucinogenic drug use and prescription drug abuse has resulted in thousands of fatal prescription drug overdoses, particularly from narcotic painkillers. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. Further, many Americans do not know how to dispose properly of their unused medicine, often flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away – both potential safety and health hazards.