PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) - Saturday marked the day to safely get rid of old or expired prescription drugs across Hampton Roads and the United States.
Drug Enforcement Administration officials say unused prescription drugs can easily end up in the wrong hands. So, once a year they hold the drug take back day to give citizens a chance to properly dispose of any medications they don't want.
The DEA held the one-day, collaborative effort with state and local law enforcement agencies to remove potentially dangerous controlled substances from our nation's homes. The national prescription drug take-back initiative provided an opportunity for the public to surrender prescribed and illegal controlled drugs to law enforcement officers for destruction.
The first national prescription take-back initiative was held on September 25, 2010. At over 4,000 sites across the country, more than 245 tons of prescription drugs were turned over to law enforcement for safe and proper disposal, according to a news release. In Virginia, 56 state and local law enforcement agencies participated in the event with over 5,100 pounds of prescription drugs collected at over 80 sites, the release said.
U.S. Congress passed the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010. Once fully implemented, the act will allow the DEA to create a process for the public to safely dispose of their prescription drugs. Until the regulation becomes fully implemented, the DEA will continue to hold nationwide take-back events to give citizens the opportunity to properly dispose of their expired, unwanted or unused medications.
Cities in Hampton Roads that held collection sites Saturday included Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Newport News and Hampton.
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