Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring is taking steps to help prevent opioid abuse throughout the state with new programming aimed at helping individuals dispose of prescription medications safely.
In light of the growing opioid epidemic seen in communities across the nation, new research has revealed a staggering uptick in the number of people abusing prescription painkillers. And while the abuse of these substances can be deadly in and of itself, prescription drug abuse has shown to have a relationship with other dangerous addictions. Many people who later go on to abuse illicit substances such as heroin or fentanyl reported prior abuse of prescription opioids, a fact that makes curbing prescription drug abuse all the more vital.
Herring recognizes that, very often, a prescription drug abuse problem can start in the medicine cabinet. Often, an individual who is legally prescribed a painkiller in light of acute pain may succumb to the highly addictive properties within these drugs, becoming dependent without ever setting out to do so. Therefore, it becomes imperative to remove excess prescription medications (either obtained illegally or otherwise) safely and securely.
A Better Alternative
In the past, it was commonplace to flush old medication down the toilet or wash it down the drain. But this practice has proven to contaminate the water supply and can be extremely harmful to the environment. Herring’s solution was to secure the donation of approximately 80,000 drug deactivation kits that will be given away for free at locations throughout Virginia. These kits have the capability of safely deactivating 3.6 million prescription pills, and are convenient and easy to use. Each kit takes the form of a large pouch, and can destroy the effectiveness of 30 pills by adding warm tap water, waiting 30 seconds, shaking gently, and then disposing the entire pouch in a regular trashcan.
Get Your Kit Today
In cooperation with the Virginia Department of Health Clinics, these kits are being distributed by various agencies across the state. For example, residents of the greater Roanoke and Salem area can pick up kits at the Roanoke Sheriff’s Office at 340 Campbell Ave SW, Roanoke, VA, at New Horizons Healthcare Clinic at 3716 Melrose Ave NW, Roanoke, VA, at the Roanoke Health District at 1502 Williamson Road, Roanoke, VA, and several other nearby locations. Given the demand, it is recommended that you contact the agency prior to visiting to be sure that there are kits available for pickup.
The tragic loss of life seen in the wake of the nation’s growing opioid epidemic has signaled the need for an increase in public education, and access to resources like drug kits to help keep these dangerous medications out of the hands of children, and anyone who may be tempted to abuse them. Thankfully, Virginia residents now have a safe and secure means to destroy prescription drugs, making their homes free from these substances of abuse once more.