“Got Drugs?”….you need to dispose of?

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Pam Dudding-Burch Contributing writer

Many people end up with extra medications laying around their homes because either doctors change the prescriptions, the medication did not work, they caused adverse reactions or they had expired. So…”Got Drugs?” Now is the time to discard those in a safe way for you and for the community.


“People often think they are doing the right thing by flushing their old medicines down the toilet but, in fact, this just puts the drugs into the community’s water system,” J.D. Carlin, a Prevention Specialist at Blue Ridge Behavioral Healthcare, said. “Removing these drugs from the community ultimately makes the Craig community safer by lowering access and by keeping these drugs out of the water system.”

Last year, Craig held the ‘Rx Drug Take-Back’ day at IGA and many citizens greatly appreciated the opportunity to safely get rid of their medications. “This is a good time to clean out your medicine cabinets,” Stacey Fisher, Pharmacist at Market Street Pharmacy in Craig County suggested.

The drop off location will be at the same place again this year, in front of Food Country, on Saturday, April 29 from 10:00 a.m. to 2 p.m. “The last time we were able to get the word out in advance via media, we had the best Take-Back, in regard to number of pounds collected in Craig County,” Carlin said.

“The Rx (prescription drugs) Take-Back is incredibly important to Craig County as it is responsible for removing medicines and other drugs from the Craig community that could otherwise be abused and/or taken incorrectly or mistakenly, especially by youth, as well as making sure that the drugs are properly disposed,” said Carlin. “This could very well be a life-saving event as drug abuse, especially of prescription drugs, is increasing nationally.”

Craddock added: “However, we do not take sharp needles or syringes and we do not take any medical equipment; only unwanted or unused drugs are allowed.”

This is a substantial commitment by the Sheriff’s Department. The Sheriff’s Office must register the event with the DEA, pick up supplies ahead of time, stay the entire time during the Take-Back and then deliver any drugs received to the DEA’s office back in Roanoke. This is time- consuming, yet even if it saves one life, there could be no price tag that would equal its value.

The local police, Pharmacist and Blue Ridge Healthcare want you to have all the information you need to help prevent drug abuse and protect the water sources in Craig County:

  1. Lock up or hide your medications to prevent others from taking them.

  2. 2- Don’t flush medications as traces of the chemicals can end up in your local water usage.

  3. 3- Dispose of your medications at secure ‘Take-Back’ sites.

No appointment is necessary. “Bring your medications to this event where they can be safely collected and then destroyed by local law enforcement and DEA agents,” Carlin said.

Sheriff Craddock will be the officer on duty at the drug take back.  “As JD Carlin said, this is an important event that helps our community as well as others, with getting rid of unused drugs around the house,” Craddock explained. “No questions are asked.”