ARLINGTON, Va. – On Saturday, October 22, 2016 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Arlington County Police Department, Arlington County Sheriff’s Office and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public its eleventh opportunity in six years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. Bring your medications for disposal to the designated collection sites. The DEA cannot accept liquids, needles or sharps. Only pills and/or patches may be submitted for disposal. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
The Arlington County Police Department will be collecting prescription drugs at the following sites:
Fire Station #1
500 S. Glebe Road
Arlington, VA 22204
Fire Station #8
4845 Lee Highway
Arlington, VA 22207
Fire Station #9
1900 S. Walter Reed Drive
Arlington, VA 22204
For additional collection sites across the region, visit the site locator at http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/index.html.
Last April, Americans turned in 447 tons (over 780,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at nearly 6,100 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,400 of its state and local law enforcement partners. When those results are combined with what was collected in its ten previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in over 6.4 million pounds—more than 3200 tons—of pills.
This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are high, 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.
If residents are unable to participate in this event, the Arlington County Department of Environmental Services advises residents to throw unwanted prescription drugs in the trash! Arlington County recommends disposing of over-the-counter and prescription medications with your regular trash. The County’s municipal solid waste is incinerated at the Waste-To-Energy facility so medications, when thrown away, will be incinerated. To dispose of medications in the trash, remove them from their original container, add water to melt the pills then place them in an unattractive substance such as used coffee grounds or kitty litter and put them in your garbage. For more information about disposal of medications visit: http://recycling.arlingtonva.us/household-hazmat/unwanted-medications/.