Oct. 26, 2011

Virginia Counterdrug Program to support Drug Take-Back Day

By Staff Reports

SANDSTON, Va.— The Virginia National Guard Counterdrug program is providing logistical support to the third Drug Enforcement Administration National Drug Take-Back Day scheduled for Oct. 29 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at locations across the Commonwealth. 

Please visit the link below to find a location near you to properly dispose of excess pharmaceuticals in your home:
http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/index.html

 

Virginia National Guard Soldiers transported more than 9,500 pounds of excess prescription drugs and over-the-counter-drugs to an incinerator in Northern Virginia for proper destruction under DEA escort in April 2011. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Andrew H. Owen, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

This is an anonymous event open to everyone.

The Virginia Guard Counterdrug Program is a member of the Attorney General's Prescription Drug Working Group, and is participating in the event in conjunction with a host of state and local agencies.

The Virginia National Guard Counterdrug program provided personnel for two months prior to the event to help plan and market the first event held in September 2010. Six Soldiers from the Martinsville-based 1173rd Transportation Company also utilized three 5-ton trucks to collect 5,182 pounds of excess prescription and over-the-counter medications from across the Commonwealth and transported the drugs under DEA escort to an incinerator in Northern Virginia for proper destruction. 

Read more: http://vko.va.ngb.army.mil/VirginiaGuard/news/oct10/takebackdrugs.html

For the second event in April 2011, Soldiers from the 1173rd again provided transportation support, but this time for more than 9,500 pounds of excess prescription and over-the-counter drugs turned in to locations across Virginia.

According to the DEA, National Prescription Drug Take Back Day addresses a vital public safety and public health issue.  More than seven million Americans currently abuse prescription drugs, according to the 2009 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's National Survey on Drug Use and Health.  Each day, approximately, 2,500 teens use prescription drugs to get high for the first time according to the Partnership for a Drug Free America. 

Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including the home medicine cabinet.

 

1st Lt. John Hinton removes a bag of surrendered medications from a truck and prepares to throw it into the incinerator in Northern Virginia Sept. 29, 2010. Hinton worked with Virginia's Counterdrug program for several months to ensure the success of the first-ever National Drug Take Back Day. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Andrew H. Owen, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

Click HERE to see more photos from the event on the Virginia National Guard Flickr site.

DEA in conjunction with state and local law enforcement agencies throughout the United States conducted National Prescription Drug Take-Back Days on Saturday, Sept. 25, 2010 and April 25, 2011.  Nearly, 4,000 state and local law enforcement agencies throughout the nation participated in these events, collecting more than 309 tons of pills.

Four days after last fall's Take-Back Day, Congress passed legislation amending the Controlled Substances Act to allow the DEA to develop a process for people to safely dispose of their prescription drugs.  DEA immediately began developing this process after President Obama signed the Safe and Secure Drug Disposal Act of 2010 on October 12.  Until that process is complete, however, DEA will continue to hold Take Back Days every six months.

The Virginia National Guard Counterdrug Program places Guardsmen in communities conducting Drug Demand Reduction classes for schools and civic organizations as well as supporting law enforcement agencies with criminal analysts, Ion scanning for drug residue on currency, and aviation support. The Program also provides prevention, treatment and outreach services to Guardsmen and family members and manages the Joint Substance Abuse Program for drug testing.

For more information about the Virginia National Guard Counterdrug Program, contact Lt. Col. Charlton Dunn, Counterdrug Program coordinator, at 434-292-8324 or via email at charlton.t.dunn@us.army.mil.


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