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After initial success in First Precinct, prescription drug drop-off program expands

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BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE

COURTHOUSE – A program that allowed for safe, environmentally-friendly disposal of prescription drugs expanded this month from the First Precinct to all city police precincts.

Containers for the Prescription Medication Take Back Program have been installed in all lobbies, the police department announced. 

The program began in June at the First Precinct, and it has shown demand for a safe way to dispose of old medications. The voluntary program is meant for citizens, not medical personnel or pharmaceutical representatives, according to police, and there is no paperwork required to drop off medications.

“The more convenient we make it to dispose of those unneeded prescription medications, the better and safer it will be for everyone,” the department said in a statement.

Bernadette Aylward, 23, delivered old prescription medications to the drop off point at the First Precinct location and placed them into the box on Friday,  July 3. 

“We were looking for a place to dump them,” the Great Neck resident said, noting that her family had been clearing out their house prior to a move.

 “It’s really nice because there’s not a lot of places to drop off prescription medications in the area,” Aylward said.

City Councilmember Barbara Henley, who represents the Princess Anne District, discussed the new program on June 26 during the monthly meeting she hosts for constituents.

“Disposal of used medications is one of those things you need to be careful with,” Henley said. “If you’re like me, it just sort of piles up. You want to get rid of it, but what do you do?”

The program is a way to safely dispose of medicines lingering in household cabinets, she said.

“You don’t have to identify yourself,” said Fran Laskey, president of the citizens advisory committee for the First Precinct, during the meeting. “You don’t have to identify what’s in there.”

The locations are:

► First Precinct, 2509 Princess Anne Road

► Second Precinct, 820 Virginia Beach Blvd.

► Third Precinct, 926 Independence Blvd.

► Fourth Precinct, 840 Kempsville Road

Locations, aside from the First Precinct, are open 24 hours per day, seven days a week. 

The First Precinct lobby is available from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m.

“Police agencies in at least 49 states currently use these ‘take back’ programs, and the Virginia Beach Police Department is proud to join the effort in providing a secure means for these unneeded prescription medications to be turned in for safe disposal,” the department said in a statement released this past month.

The Independent News

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