On Saturday, the Danville Police Department teamed up with the DEA for a prescription drug take-back event at police headquarters. The event gave residents an opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescriptions.
Residents turned in 123.5 pounds of medication, said Community Services Coordinator Claudia Ray. The free, anonymous event is designed to reduce the possibility of abuse or theft of prescription drugs.
"It was absolutely fantastic, (residents) love it," Ray added. "When we put the notice on our website, I must have gotten immediately a dozen phone calls from people saying how wonderful it was."
Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicinesflushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trashpose potential safety and health hazards.
To combat this epidemic, the Danville Police Department has a prescription drug and syringe drop-off bin at its offices (510 La Gonda Way). Residents can drop off medications Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.; officers ask that medications be emptied into Ziploc bags and the containers disposed of separately.
"We are pleased at the response of the American people once again, and we thank them for participating and contributing to the battle against prescription drug abuse," said DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart, who added that 4,268 agencies participated with DEA nationwide in Saturday's event.