The Town of Purcellville is pleased to report that they collected 178 pounds of unwanted medications and prescription drugs this past Saturday as part of the DEA’s National Drug Take Back Initiative. The police department spearheaded the Town’s local effort, with support from the department of utilities, and collected the meds at the Town’s parking lot on Nursery Avenue. It is estimated that nearly 100 residents turned out for the occasion.
“This is more than five times what we collected last year. The six giant bags and three boxes we collected fully filled the trunk and back seat of my cruiser. We are really grateful to area residents who cleaned out their medicine chests in the name of public safety and environmental protection,” said Lt. James Rust with the Purcellville Police Department.
The National Drug Take Back Initiative was created by the DEA in an effort to keep unused, expired and unwanted meds out of the hands of children, teens and others. Last Saturday marked its fourth event. The State of Virginia collected nearly 17,000 pounds of unwanted meds in total, more than double the collection last year. The 8.4 tons of drugs turned into the DEA’s Washington Division from Virginia will be properly destroyed by them in the coming days. The DEA attributes this year’s success to the cooperation of more than 130 law enforcement agencies and community groups staffing 180 collection sites throughout the state.
“By taking this important step to properly dispose of these unwanted medications, we not only ensure children’s safety, we also keep trace amounts of pharmaceuticals out of our sources of drinking water,” says Purcellville’s Utility Director Alex Vanegas. “Without a program like this, consumers usually flush their old meds down the toilet. The trace amounts can pass through our wastewater treatment and eventually into the water supply of our neighboring communities”
This is the third year the Town has participated in the event.