Drug Collection Unit Promotes Safer Disposal of Unused Medication
The heroin epidemic in our region has claimed hundreds of lives. According to the Northern Shenandoah Valley Substance Abuse Coalition, more than 60 percent of local overdose victims report that they had a prior history of prescription drug abuse. It is important to properly dispose of medication, especially narcotics, before the drugs can be misused, abused, or accidentally ingested.
In 2014, the Winchester Police Department was awarded a grant for a Drug Collection Unit through the CVS/pharmacy Medication Disposal for Safer Community Program. The Drug Collection Unit is located outside of the Timbrook Public Safety Center at 231 East Piccadilly Street, and provides residents with a safe and environmentally responsible way to dispose of unwanted, unused or expired medication, including controlled substances.
The unit is intended to reduce the amount of unneeded medicine in residents’ homes and decrease prescription drug abuse, which has soared in recent years, especially among teenagers. More than 70 percent of teenagers say it is easy to get prescription drugs from their parents’ medicine cabinets, according to a 2014 Partnership for Drug-Free Kids study. The unit also helps prevent the contamination of local landfills and water supplies from unused medication.
As of November, 2016, the Department has collected 1,240 pounds of medication! The Department collects an average of 50 pounds of unused or expired medication each month.
Unused and expired medication can be dropped off 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with no questions asked. The unit is located at the main entrance of the Timbrook Public Safety Center, located at 231 East Piccadilly Street.
Here are a few guidelines for disposing of items in the collection box:
- Capped, unused needles can go in the box. Please put them in a plastic container for safety. Do not put used needles in the box.
- Please do not drop pills straight in the container. You can include Rx bottles or put the pills in a plastic bag.
Other Drug Collection Units in the area include:
- Winchester/Frederick Joint Judicial Center – 5 North Kent Street, Winchester VA
- Frederick County Sheriff’s Office – 1080 Coverstone Drive, Winchester VA
- Clarke County Sheriff’s Office – 100 North Church Street, Berryville VA