ROANOKE, Va. – Tossing pill bottles one by one, local agencies collected hundreds of pounds of unused prescription drugs for Drug Take Back Day.
Driving up with a bag in hand, Roanoke County residents cleaned out their medicine cabinets. LewisGale along with dozens of other locations collected unused prescription drugs with no questions asked.
Roanoke Area Youth Substance Abuse Coalition Director Adam Neal said the simple effort could be key to preventing kids from going down the wrong path.
“We all know that we can’t supervise our children 24 hours a day,” he said. “Sometimes these pills, extra pain medication, opioids that we all know about can be a gateway to harder drugs and harder addiction. We want to put a stop to that.”
The effort not only keeps drugs off the streets but out of the waterways too.
“When people are flushing these pills down the toilet or throwing out to the street or throwing it out to the trash, it does affect our environment,” Sgt. Dan Walters with Roanoke County Police said. “It does affect our water quality.”
In four hours, 11 bags were collected alone at the CVS on Brambleton Avenue.
Walters said he seizes these moments to interact with the community and create stronger bonds.
“I love talking to the community. And everybody that came up today said thank you very much for what you are doing. They always look forward to coming out every year. So it’s great to have some communication with our citizens. It’s tremendous. I love this opportunity.”
All the pills will be handed over to the Drug Enforcement Administration to dispose of them properly.
Anyone who missed the weekend event can find a year-round collection site nearby through the DEA website.