Drive nets 320 pounds of medicine

Posted: May 11, 2013

The Winchester Star

WINCHESTER — More than 300 pounds of prescription medication was collected April 27 by local authorities at the twice-yearly Drug Take Back Day.

“It’s getting better and better each time we do it,” said Capt. Allen Sibert of the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office.

Drug Take Back Day is a national event that offers people the chance to dispose of unwanted or unused prescription medication through law enforcement.

Frederick County officials collected 138 pounds in three locations, while 131 pounds was collected in the City of Winchester at two locations and 51 pounds in Clarke County at one location — 320 pounds in all.

Statewide, 206 drop-off locations were provided, with 135 agencies participating and more than 22,353 pounds of medication collected.

The national total for the recent collection was 371 tons.

Winchester Sheriff Lenny Millholland said the city’s numbers have increased over the years.

“I think the biggest reason why is that more people are aware that we’re doing it twice a year,” he said.

He added that it helped to have Rotz Pharmacy on Amherst Street as one of the collection sites.

Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from home medicine cabinets, according to local law enforcement leaders.

“You always have to look at what happens if [medicine] stays dormant in someone’s medicine cabinet,” Millholland said. “I think [the program] is a positive thing for the community.”

Sibert said the program helps to keep prescription drugs from falling into the wrong hands.

Drug Take Back Day also keeps drugs out of Virginia’s lakes and streams.

“It’s an outstanding program in all respects,” Sibert said.

— Contact Melissa Boughton at mboughton@winchesterstar.com