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Get rid of drugs safely: Semi-annual Drug Take-back event is this Saturday, April 22

You can safely dispose of unused or expired prescription drugs this Saturday, April 22, at three local hospitals between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Look for signs near the drop-off area.

VA Health System Prince William Medical Center, UVA Health System Haymarket Medical Center, and Sentara Healthcare in Lake Ridge will be accepting the medications for safe and legal disposal. Members of local police departments in Prince William County, Manassas City and the Town of Haymarket will assist U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and community groups in collecting the medications.

A similar collection.of unused or expired prescriptions drugs is also held on a Saturday in the fall, usually late October.

This nationwide prescription drug “Take-Back” initiative is aimed at preventing pill abuse and theft, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, (the DEA), an agency of the federal government. Unused or expired prescription medications are a public-safety issue, which officials say has led to accidental poisoning, overdose and abuse. Pharmaceutical drugs are just as dangerous as street drugs when taken without a prescription or a doctor’s supervision, according to a news release.

The majority of people who abuse prescription drugs get them from family and friends, or the home medicine cabinet. The news release said that unused prescription drugs thrown in the trash can be retrieved and abused, or illegally sold. Such drugs ansi may contaminate groundwater or soil. Unused drugs that are flushed down the toilet could contaminate the water supply. Proper disposal of unused drugs saves lives and protects the environment.

Take-back programs are the best way to dispose of old drugs, says DEA officials. if a program is not available, people are advised to remove the medications fromf their containers, mix them with something unappealing such as used kitty litter or coffee grounds and seal them in a bag or disposable container and throw it away.

At Saturday’s take-back locations, prescription and over-the-counter solid-dosage medications (i.e., tablets and capsules) will be accepted. Vape pens and e-cigarettes will also be accepted AFTER batteries have been removed. Intravenous solutions, injectables, needles, hydrogen peroxide, compressed cylinders (asthma inhalers, for example), iodine-containing medications and thermometers will not be accepted.

Illicit substances such as marijuana or methamphetamine will also not be accepted during theTake-Back Day. Use a permanent marker to blacken ou personal information on the labels, if unable to peel them off, prior to turning the drugs in for take-back,

For questions or more information, call the Prince William Police Department’s Crime Prevention Unit at 703-792-7270.

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