Local police to hold drug collection events

A pair of drug collection events will allow area residents with a few prescription pill bottles crowding their medicine cabinet to safely free up some space on Oct. 22.

In James City County, county police department and Drug Enforcement Administration officers will hold a collection event to provide a place for residents to safely dispose of expired or unused medication, said Stephanie Williams, James City County Police spokeswoman.

The Williamsburg-James City County Sheriff's Office and Williamsburg Police Department will provide a similar service in the city on the same day, according to a Williamsburg Police Department news release.

The event aims at creating safer homes. Medication that sits in the home creates a constant health hazard because consumption, whether intentional or unintentional, can lead to death, Williams said.

In the county, only prescription solid-dosage medications will be accepted. Tablets and capsules are considered solid dosage. Over-the-counter medications, injectables, needles and intravenous solutions won't be accepted. Likewise, illicit substances like marijuana won't be accepted either, according to a James City County news release.

Williamsburg Police Department and Williamsburg-James City County Sheriff's Office will accept over-the-counter medications, in addition to prescription drugs. Liquids in sealed containers will be accepted, too, but needles and other medical instruments used to puncture or lacerate skin won't be accept, according to a Williamsburg Police Department news release.

People who drop off medication remain anonymous and no questions are asked regarding medication at either of the free events. Except in the case of illegal substances dropped off at the city event, which will prompt an investigation, according to Greg Riley, Williamsburg Police spokesman.

The events are part of the National Take-Back Initiative sponsored by the Department of Justice and DEA and seeks to provide a safe avenue for people to dispose of unwanted drugs, rather than flush them down the toilet or throw them in the trash, both of which pose health and safety problems, according to the county release.

Past events have proven successful. James City County Police Department has held the event previously and the event usually has high turnout every time, Williams said. Participants turned in 238 pounds of prescription drugs to Williamsburg Police and Williamsburg-James City County Sheriff's Office at their September 2015 event, according to the Williamsburg Police Department release.

Walgreens will be on site at Williamsburg Police Department to offer flu shots, which are covered by most insurance carriers, according to the release.

Jacobs can be reached by phone at 757-298-6007.

Want to go?

When: 10 a.m.-2p.m., Oct. 22.

Where: James City County Recreation Center, 5301 Longhill Road. Williamsburg Police Department, 425 Armistead Ave.

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