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Smyth County Sheriff's Office to host Drug Take Back event

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On April 30 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Smyth County Sheriff’s Office and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public its 11th opportunity in six years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs.  Individuals may bring pills for disposal to Food City in Marion. (The DEA cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills or patches.) The service is free and anonymous; no questions asked.

Last September, Americans turned in 350 tons (more than 702,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at more than 5,000 sites operated by the DEA and more than 3,800 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 10 previous Take Back events, the DEA and its partners have taken in over 5.5 million pounds — more than 2,750 tons — of pills. 

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This initiative addresses a public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.  Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines — flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash — both pose potential safety and health hazards.

Sheriff B.C. Shuler encouraged the citizens of Smyth County to take advantage of this opportunity to dispose of their unused prescription drugs. The Drug Take Back program is also environmentally friendly, in that it keeps the drugs from being introduced into our wastewater systems and our landfills.

Shuler said that the Drug Take Back Program is an essential part of the sheriff’s office’s tough stance in the fight against the drug abuse problem in Smyth County.

For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the April 30 Take Back Day event, go to the DEA Diversion website ( or call the Smyth County Sheriff’s Office at 782-4056.

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