FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 1, 2012
Contact: Liz Mills, Director of Media Relations and Communications, 571-251-5568 (mobile)
Loudoun County, VA – Loudoun County law enforcement agencies collected almost 600 pounds of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs for destruction during the “Take-Back” initiative. This is the largest amount collected by Loudoun law enforcement since the introduction of the initiative in the county. The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, Town of Leesburg Police Department and the Town of Purcellville Police Department partnered with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in the initiative to help prevent increased pill abuse and theft.
Over 5,300 sites nationwide joined the effort on April 28th. In Loudoun County, residents dropped off unused prescription medications at five sites throughout the county. The sites included the Eastern Loudoun Sheriff’s Station in Sterling, the Dulles South Public Safety Center in South Riding, the Lansdowne Public Safety Center on Sandridge Way in Lansdowne, the Leesburg Police Department and the Purcellville Police Department. The service is free and anonymous, with no questions asked.
During the last initiative Loudoun County law enforcement agencies collected nearly 200 pounds of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs for destruction.
As a former Special Agent with the US Drug Enforcement Agency, Sheriff Mike Chapman understands the importance of this issue. “This program addresses a critical public safety and health issue,” he said.
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.