Ho no no! Dispose of prescription drugs before holiday visits, police say

Staff Writer

While typically full of cheer and festivity, the holiday season can present challenges for families. A sad example is when a relative or guest at a holiday party suffers from drug addiction and steals prescription drugs from another family member’s medicine cabinet.

For the James City County Police Department, safe drug disposal is just one way to put a stopper in prescription drug abuse before the medicine becomes a target.

“We would recommend frequently going through home medicine cabinets to dispose of unused prescription medication,” James City County Police Department spokeswoman Stephanie Williams said. “Leaving these medications around the house can lead to accidental or purposeful misuse and/or overdose.”

Both Williamsburg’s and James City County’s police departments offer, at no cost, safe drug disposal bags that neutralize prescription medicines.

The disposal bags can deactivate 45 pills, 6 ounces of fluids or six patches, according to the instructions on the bags.

Disposal bags also can be picked up at the local health department offices, Williams said.

But in a pinch, folks can place their medicine in a sandwich bag with used coffee grounds and that will deactivate medicine too, according to Williams.

Additionally, several local pharmacies offer drug takeback receptacles including one inside Sentara Williamsburg’s pharmacy and both locations of Williamsburg Drug Company. These receptacles do not accept sharps or fluids.

“Disposing of unused medication is easy and convenient,” Williams said.

Routine drug disposal helps keep prescription drugs out of the hands of people who might abuse or misuse them, Williams said.

The average pill sold on the streets goes for somewhere between $8 and $12, according to Williamsburg Police Department spokesman Maj. Brian Carlsen.

That can add up to a hefty payday for a would-be thief or an addict looking to save money.

Drug disposal

Disposal bags are available for pickup at the following locations:

  • Williamsburg Police Department, 425 Armistead Ave.
  • The James City County Law Enforcement Center, 4600 Opportunity Way

Drug disposal receptacle locations:

  • Sentara Williamsburg’s pharmacy, 100 Sentara Circle
  • Williamsburg Drug Company, 240 McLaws Circle Suite 147
  • Williamsburg Drug Company, 1302 Mt. Vernon Ave.

Roberts can be reached at 757-604-1329, by email at srobertsjr@vagazette.com and on Twitter @SPRobertsJr.

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