WASHINGTON — Fairfax County has kicked off a new pilot program to safely dispose of old and unused prescriptions between “Drug Take Back” days.
The county is joining Loudoun County and Leesburg in offering its citizens a medicine disposal drop box. The box is located in the lobby of the West Springfield police station at 6140 Rolling Rd. in Springfield, Virginia, and it’s open 24/7, said Springfield district supervisor with the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Pat Herrity.
Herrity said you can drop off unused prescriptions anonymously with no questions asked. But it’s only for drugs — no needles or liquids can be dropped off at the site.
This pilot program is one way to help address the opioid crisis since “75-percent of heroin users start with prescription drugs,” Herrity said. He also said it’s a way to help safely get rid of prescription medications in between the semiannual National Prescription “Drug Take Back” days.
During the “Drug Take Back” day this past Saturday, the eight police district stations in Fairfax County who served as drop-off locations collected 2,623 pounds of prescription drugs. Since its first 2010 nationwide Drug Take Back event, the Drug Enforcement Administration has called its events “overwhelmingly successful.”
Herrity said the pilot program will expand to other police stations in the county, if it proves successful in six months in Fairfax County.
Drug disposal packets will also be available at the West Springfield station.
“They’re a little pouch that you can pour the unused medication in. You activate the liquid that’s in it and it deactivates the drug. Then you just throw it in the trash,” Herrity said.
During “Drug Take Back” day this past April, the DEA said that the event brought in 450 tons of prescription drugs nationwide.
Two-hundred thousand Americans have died from the heroin-opioid epidemic since 2000. In Virginia alone last year, more one-thousand residents lost their lives due to the epidemic.
© 2017 WTOP. All Rights Reserved.