Residents will have an opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs during the Prescription Drug Take Back event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 23.
To participate in the event hosted by Drug-Free MHC Coalition, Martinsville Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), bring pills for disposal to the Martinsville Fire Department, at 65 West Church Street. (The DEA cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills or patches.)
The service is free and anonymous, with no questions asked.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. has seen an increase in overdose deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic, with 96,779 Americans overdosing during the 12-month period ending March 1, 2021, a 29.6 percent increase.
The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day addresses a crucial public safety and public health issue. According to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 9.7 million people misused prescription pain relievers, 4.9 million people misused prescription stimulants, and 5.9 million people misused prescription tranquilizers or sedatives in 2019. The study shows that a majority of abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet.
In April of 2021, at the 20th National Take Back Event, Americans turned in 839,534 pounds (420 tons) of prescription drugs at 5,060 sites operated by the DEA and 4,425 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 20 Take Back events, the DEA and its partners have taken in more than 14 million pounds—more than 7,200 tons—of pills. The Take Back events provide an opportunity for Americans to prevent drug addiction and overdose deaths.
If you are unable to attend this drive-through event but would like to get rid of unwanted medications, contact Tobie Panos, the coordinator for Drug Free MHC, at firstname.lastname@example.org about medication disposal kits or visit one of the local permanent drop box locations at the Henry County Jail or Martinsville City Police Department between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Drug Free MHC is a substance abuse prevention coalition through Piedmont Community Services. For additional information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the Take Back Day event, go to www.DEATakeBack.com