By Officer James Brooks
, Police Department
The City of Falls Church Police Department collected 279 pounds of unwanted prescription medication at the April 30 Drug Take-Back event, part of a Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) initiative. Nationwide, more than 350 tons of unused, expired, or unwanted drugs were discarded. This was the eleventh national event since September 2010; cumulatively, these events have collected 5,525,021 pounds of drugs.
This initiative addresses a crucial public safety and public health issue. According to the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.5 million Americans abused controlled prescription drugs. That same study showed that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.
Approximately 46,000 Americans die each year from drug-related deaths. More than half of those are from heroin and prescription opioids. Four out of five new heroin users start with prescription medications. This take-back program makes a real difference.
The DEA’s NTBI events are also a significant piece of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy’s prescription drug abuse prevention strategy. In a Weekly Address, President Obama
spoke about the importance of preventing and treating substance use disorders and called on Americans to participate in National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.