Sheriff Brad Nunnally announced in April that, with the cooperation of the Powhatan County Board of Supervisors and the County Administrator, the Powhatan County Sheriff’s Office was awarded a grant from CVS/pharmacy to install a Drug Collection Unit/Collection Safe. The new unit is located in the sheriff’s office lobby in the basement of the Powhatan Court House. This collection safe will provide residents with a safe and environmentally responsible way to dispose of unwanted, unused or expired medication, including controlled substances.
The new unit is intended to reduce the amount of unneeded medicine in resident’s homes and decrease prescription drug abuse, which has soared in recent years, especially among teenagers. More than 70 percent of teenagers say it is easy to get prescription drugs from their parents’ medicine cabinets, according to a 2014 Partnership for Drug-Free Kids study. Getting this unneeded medication out of the home is proving to be one of the most effective ways to prevent drug abuse in young people.
The new collection unit will also help Powhatan County prevent the contamination of local landfills and water supplies from unused medication all year round.
The installation of this unit marked the beginning of the month of April that saw the eleventh National Drug Take-Back Initiative. This event was coordinated and conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Powhatan Sheriff’s Office. On April 30, 2016 between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., personnel of the sheriff’s office stood by and collect surrendered pharmaceutical controlled substances and other medications from the public so that they could be destroyed.
The collection unit and the “Takeback Day” are proving to be very successful initiatives indeed. During the month of April, eight pounds of prescription drugs were collected in the box. The Drug Takeback Event netted 141 pounds of prescription drugs collected from citizens. Monthly tallies since then have been ten pounds in May and 25.5 pounds in June.
Powhatan’s unit represents one of 1,000 units CVS/pharmacy and The Medicine Abuse Project (MAP), a five-year initiative of The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, are providing across the country. This innovative donation program is the largest retail pharmacy effort of its kind to date and supports MAP’s goal to prevent a half million teenagers from abusing prescription medication by the year 2017. CVS/pharmacy is the sole retail pharmacy sponsor of this program, which builds on the company’s Medication Disposal for Safer Communities Program.
“CVS/pharmacy is dedicated to collaborating with organizations like The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids and local law enforcement to prevent the abuse of unwanted and expired medication,” said Josh Flum, Senior Vice President of Retail Pharmacy at CVS Health. “The installment of drug collection receptacles is part of our ongoing commitment to battle prescription drug abuse in the U.S. and to help people in the communities we serve on their path to better health.”