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Posted on: May 2, 2016

Loudoun Law Enforcement Take-Back over 1,300 Pounds in Unused Prescription Drugs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 2, 2016

Contact: Kraig Troxell, Public Information Officer, 703-771-5278
[email protected]

Alex Kowalski, Public Information Officer, 703-777-0625
[email protected]

Loudoun Law Enforcement Take-Back over 1,300 Pounds in Unused Prescription Drugs

Loudoun County, VA- The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, the Town of Middleburg Police Department, and the Town of Purcellville Police Department collected over 1,300 pounds of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs for destruction during the nationwide prescription “Take-Back” initiative this past weekend.

The three agencies participated in the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) initiative that was established to prevent increased pill abuse and theft. Since the inception of the DEA take-back program in 2010, nearly 8,000 pounds of unwanted and unused prescription medications have been taken off the streets of Loudoun County.

Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States are increasing at alarming rates, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. “These drugs are not just addictive, but deadly,” said Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman. “Too often these unused and unwanted medications fall into the wrong hands and are misused or abused, and this program ensures they are disposed of properly,” added Sheriff Chapman.

The take-back initiative was highlighted during a joint press conference in Leesburg, Va. on Saturday. Acting DEA Administrator Chuck Rosenberg joined Loudoun Sheriff Mike Chapman; US Attorney Dana Boente of the Eastern District of Virginia; Victoria Cochran, Virginia Deputy Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security; and Nick Yacoub, Peer Support Specialist Supervisor/Senior Recovery Coach with the Substance Abuse Addiction and Recovery Alliance (SAARA). They were joined by regional treatment, community and law enforcement officials.
Officials outlined the continued efforts to address the opioid crisis and the importance of properly disposing of prescription medications through programs such as the drug take-back day. National studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, many Americans do not know how to properly dispose of their unused medicine, often flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away – both potential safety and health hazards.

The take-back program has been incorporated into a regional heroin initiative called the Heroin Operations Team. In April 2015, Loudoun Sheriff Chapman joined U.S. Representative Barbara Comstock (VA-10th District) to form the HOT Team. HOT employs a comprehensive approach that includes enforcement (at all levels), education and prevention by incorporating local, state and federal law enforcement.
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