RICHMOND, Va. -- Law enforcement agencies and community partners throughout Virginia accepted unused or expired medications in celebration of Drug Take-Back Day Saturday.
The day provides proper disposal of unused prescriptions, especially opioids, before they can be misused, abused, or accidentally ingested.
The initiative was held from 10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. throughout the state. Collection sites for the Richmond area are available below and by searching here.
Virginia Attorney General Mark R. Herring encouraged all Virginians with unused or expired medications to take advantage of the program to help protect your family and friends.
"Keeping unused prescriptions around the house increases the likelihood that they will eventually be misused or abused, or even accidentally ingested by a child or grandchild," said Herring. "Prescription opioids are especially powerful medications that can easily lead to dependence, abuse of harder drugs like heroin or fentanyl, or even lead to a fatal overdose.”
In Virginia, abuse and overdose deaths continue to rise, according to Attorney General Office.
- Prescription opioid overdose deaths have risen 44 percent between 2007 and 2015, from 399 deaths to 576.
- Heroin overdose deaths have risen more than 600 percent between 2010 and 2015, from 48 to 342.
- Fentanyl deaths have risen 367 percent from 2007 to 2015, from 48 to 224.
- More than 500 people went to a Virginia emergency room from a heroin overdose in the first four months of 2016, a 250% increase over 2015.
Herring said Drug Take-Back Day is a great opportunity to make sure pills don’t wind up on the streets.
“It's a simple thing that can go a long way in making our homes and communities safer and in helping Virginians live a drug free life," said Herring.