FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. (WDVM) — The Fairfax County Police Department and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) partnered together to encourage residents to drop off unused or expired prescription medications, while also aiming to educate the community on the dangers of addiction and overdose.
“Two hundred and fifty Americans are dying every day,” said Anne Milgram, DEA administrator. “Countless more are overdosing, and we know that this starts — for the majority of people — from medicine cabinets,” said Anne Milgram, DEA administrator.
Like many law enforcement agencies participating in the initiative across the country, the Fairfax County Police Department held their event at the West Springfield District Station on Saturday.
Police Chief Kevin Davis says the program is needed now more than ever, as overdoses climb during the pandemic.
“Folks are working from home. They’re teleworking, and they’re in their homes now more than ever, so the access to prescription pills that may not be prescribed or may not be yours…That’s always a constant danger,” said Davis.
Officials say the safest way to dispose of unwanted drugs is to turn them in at local police stations to law enforcement officials.
“The way to dispose of medicines safely is to have people who are professionals who know how to dispose of them do it, as opposed to throwing them out or flushing them down your toilet,” said Milgram. “That’s not as safe for the environment or our public safety and health.”
The DEA says they have 13,000 sites year round for residents to come and safely dispose of their medications. You can learn more on their website.