Law enforcement and drug abuse prevention agencies will be hosting their twice-yearly Drug Takeback Day in the Roanoke and New River Valleys on October 28 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.
Individuals may bring unused or expired medications to drop-off locations so that local law enforcement and the Drug Enforcement Administration can collect and destroy them. Pills and patches will be accepted, but not sharp objects such as needles and syringes.
No appointment is necessary and no questions will be asked. It is not even necessary to get out of the vehicle.
The Vinton Kroger on Hardy Road will be accepting prescription drugs, as will the Daleville Kroger.
Check online at www.dea.gov. for more drug disposal sites in the area. The collection area stretches from Roanoke to Floyd to Craig to Wytheville, and places in between.
Local public health and law enforcement officials have been stressing that the opioid crisis can start in medicine cabinets. People using prescription painkillers for medical reasons can slip into addiction and then start seeking out the cheaper and more easily accessible heroin. Officials warn there is also a risk of theft of unlocked, unused drugs.
Year-round medication disposal is available in the Roanoke County Sheriff’s Annex behind the Roanoke County Juvenile Relations building at the corner of East Calhoun Street and Strawberry Lane in Salem. They do not accept needles, empty containers, aerosol containers, or over-the-counter medications. That service is available Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Sponsors of the event include the Vinton Police Department, the Roanoke Area Youth Substance Abuse Coalition, the Western Virginia Water Authority, the U. S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the Prevention Council of Roanoke County, the Roanoke County Sheriff’s Department, the Roanoke County Police Department, the Salem Police Department, the Roanoke Valley Academy of Medicine, the Botetourt County Sheriff’s Department, the Roanoke City Police Department, the Craig County Sheriff’s Department, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office Western District of Virginia.
These sponsors advise individuals to “lock up or hide your medications to prevent others from taking them. Don’t flush your medications as trace amounts of the chemical in medications can end up in our nation’s waterways. Dispose of your medications at secure takeback sites.”