pill-bottlesVirginia will participate Saturday, April 30, 2016 in the eleventh National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, and here in Fairfax County that is Operation Medicine Cabinet Cleanout. Take advantage of a free, convenient, confidential, and safe disposal of unused or expired medications on Saturday, April 30, 2016.

Drop off medications at any of the eight Fairfax County District Police Stations (pills or liquids only, no pressurized canisters or needles) between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. The event is hosted by the Unified Prevention Coalition of Fairfax County and other government partners.

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 from their medicine cabinets in an environmentally safe manner.

According to the DEA, some 4,823,251 pounds (or 2,411 tons) of drugs were collected nationwide from 2010-2014. Last year, Virginia collected 22,855 pounds of prescription drugs from over 200 collection sites statewide.

National data cites prescription drug abuse as the fastest growing drug problem in the U.S. This is reflected in unprecedented numbers of accidental poisonings and overdoses. Many people are unaware that prescription drugs are susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse and are easily obtained from home medicine cabinets for improper use. Flushing this medication down the toilet presents public safety and public health concerns, such as entering the drinking water supply. Your support of Drug Take-Back Day is an important example to set.

Healthcare 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.

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