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People urged to turn in unwanted medications for safe disposal

Here's how you can help prevent drug abuse, protect waterways

ROANOKE, Va. – National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is a nationwide effort inviting the public to drop off unused or unwanted prescription drugs.

“We expanded the number of locations around the valley to make it convenient for everybody to be able to turn in those unused expired medications that they have in their homes,” public relations manager Sarah Baumgardner, at Western Virginia Water Authority, said.

This free, anonymous event will help reduce prescription drug abuse, theft and to keep drugs out of the environment.

“A lot of drug addicts will tell you they started with pills out of dad's medicine cabinet out of grandma's medicine cabinet,” crime prevention specialist Scott Leaman, at the Roanoke Police Department said.

Baumgardner explains why you don't want to flush medications down the drain.

“Some of the chemicals from those medicines can pass through our waste water treatment plant and end up in the nation’s waterways. We don't want that,” Baumgardner said.

You also don't want medicine sitting around in your home where someone can steal it.

“They can take it and lead to really harmful drug abuse,” Baumgardner said.

“All you have to do is drive up, hand us the prescription drugs, and we will dispose them for you properly,” Leaman said.

It's a simple process that can help avoid a potentially complicated situation down the road.