Clean house: Saturday is Rx Drug Take-Back Day in Virginia

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Across Virginia this week, people are cleaning out their medicine cabinets ahead of Saturday’s annual Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.

On Saturday Oct. 22, law enforcement agencies throughout the state will be accepting for proper disposal unused or expired medications.

“Keeping prescription medications around the house increases the likelihood that they will eventually be misused or abused, or even accidentally ingested by a child or grandchild,” state Attorney General Mark Herring said in a release. “I strongly encourage all Virginians to take advantage of Saturday’s collection locations so we can get these pills out of the cabinets before they wind up on the streets.”

Half of all young people who use heroin get their start by abusing prescription opioid medications, according to research by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

The agency also found that in the United States opioid prescriptions have nearly tripled over the last 25 years and that in Virginia, deaths caused by an overdose of prescription opioids rose from 399 in 2007 to 576 in 2015, a 44-percent increase.

Such statistics underscore the role of Saturday’s effort.

“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,” Herring said.

In Norfolk, unwanted medications can be dropped off at the Norfolk Police Department, 3661 E. Virginia Beach Blvd. or 901 Asbury Ave.

The location of other sites that will be accepting medications for disposal on Saturday in the Hampton Roads area can be found at:

http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/index.html

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Joan Quigley is a former Miami Herald business reporter, a graduate of Columbia Journalism School and an attorney. Her writing has appeared in the Washington Post, TIME.com, nationalgeographic.com and Talking Points Memo. Joan Quigley is a former Miami Herald business reporter, a graduate of Columbia Journalism School and an attorney. Her writing has appeared in the Washington Post, TIME.com, nationalgeographic.com and Talking Points Memo. Her recent book, Just Another Southern Town: Mary Church Terrell and the Struggle for Racial Justice in the Nation’s Capital, was shortlisted for the 2017 Mark Lynton History Prize. Her first book, The Day the Earth Caved In: An American Mining Tragedy, won the 2005 J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award.