On Saturday, Oct. 24, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Covington City Police, Alleghany County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration will give the public its 18th opportunity in nine years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.

Bring your pills for disposal to Walmart in Covington and Kroger/CVS in Clifton Forge. Sites cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills or patches.

The service is free and anonymous, with no questions asked.

Last fall Americans turned in nearly 460 tons (over 900,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at more than 5,800 sites operated by the DEA and almost 4,800 of its state and local law enforcement partners.

Overall, in its 16 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in almost 11 million pounds — nearly 5,500 tons — of pills. 

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse.

Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows year after year that the majority of misused and abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including someone else’s medication being stolen from the home medicine cabinet.

In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines — flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash — both pose potential safety and health hazards. 

For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the Oct. 24 Take Back Day event, go to www.DEATake Back.com. 

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Covington City Police and the Alleghany County Sheriff’s Office, in conjunction with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, will hold drug take-back day on Saturday, Oct. 24. The public can bring pills for disposal to Walmart in Covington and Kroger/CVS in Clifton Forge.