ROANOKE, Va. – In an effort to combat the ongoing opioid crisis, volunteers collected unused or expired prescription medications on National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.
Rather than flush pills down the toilet and pollute waterways, thousands of drug take back sites collected bottles of drugs. People gathered outside a CVS near Tower Shopping Center in Roanoke and unloaded full bags of medications.
It was a surprising sight to Whittney Williams, the Roanoke Area Youth Substance Abuse Coalition site coordinator.
“Wow, I didn’t know this many people had medications at home and they didn’t know where to get rid of them,” Williams said.
In about five hours, the site collected seven full garbage bags of drugs. Noticing a rise in suicide rates during the pandemic, Williams said this collection may be more impactful than ever before.
“We don’t really want those medications laying around to help contribute to that so I’m glad that we are able to have this now and be able to get rid of those prescription meds,” she said.
To keep the momentum going, site volunteers handed out drug deactivating packs to dispose of unused drugs. With just a little water, people can properly dispose of their medications at home.
Another cost-effective tool is pill pod lockboxes. One simple click could help prevent a lifetime of drug abuse.
If you missed Saturday’s event, you can still anonymously drop off medications at a number of permanent drop box sites: