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Sentara Lake Ridge Plans Drug Take Back

A rending shows Sentara Lake Ridge medical center, which will open next month and will offer 24-hour emergency medical services to residents in the Potomac Communities. (Submitted)


LAKE RIDGE, Va. — On September 29 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Prince William County Police and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public another opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.

Prince William County Police will be located at Sentara Lake Ridge at 12825 Minnieville Road, under the Sentara Healthcare tent. Participants should mark through any personal identifiers. This service is free and anonymous (no questions asked) for the disposal of bottled medication only (liquid and pill forms); we cannot accept any syringes.

Last April, more than 600 pounds of expired or unused prescription medications were collected in Prince William County on Saturday, April 28, 2012, besting the previous collection by about 200 pounds, according to a news release from Prince William County Police.

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 alarmingly 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. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.

Four days after the first event, Congress passed the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010, which amends the Controlled Substances Act to allow an “ultimate user” of controlled substance medications to dispose of them by delivering them to entities authorized by the Attorney General to accept them. The Act also allows the Attorney General to authorize long term care facilities to dispose of their residents’ controlled substances in certain instances. DEA is drafting regulations to implement the Act. Until new regulations are in place, local law enforcement agencies like Prince William County Police and the DEA will continue to hold prescription drug take-back events every few months.

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