Nearly 366 tons of medication collected in drug take back

National Drug Take Back Day this year meant that Americans turned over almost 366 tons in unused medication, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration reports.

This was the sixth year for the program and the 12th occasion for the initiative. Authorities say the disposal reduces the risk for abusing the unused drugs and helps to keep them from water sources and landfills.

Frederick County Sheriff Lenny Millholland reported that his office collected around 45 pounds of disposed medication on Saturday. Capt. Wayne Sager said the Strasburg Police Department has collected around the same amount. The Woodstock Police Department estimated that people disposed of around 75 pounds of drugs on Oct. 22.

Sager said that the Strasburg Police Department was also able to provide around 20 drug deactivation systems to people to take home for the first time this year. The systems, provided to the department by the Family Youth Initiative, deactivate up to 90 pills or the liquid equivalent in medication.

The Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office and Winchester Police Department keep collection boxes for returning medications that people can use year-round. The Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office reports that residents dropped off around 370 pounds of medication so far this year. Jennifer Hall, a community relations specialist with the Winchester Police Department, said people have dropped off an average of 50 pounds of drugs per month.

Virginia collected 31,017 pounds during the April 30 take back day earlier this year, the Drug Enforcement Administration reports. According to Millholland’s release, Virginians disposed of 23,270 pounds of medication on Oct. 22. National numbers also decreased, from around 447 tons in April to around 366 tons in October.

Contact staff writer Rachel Mahoney at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or