Don’t Be An Accidental Drug Dealer: Chesterfield launches campaign to reduce drug overdoses

Chesterfield County
Deterra drug disposal pouches

The Deterra drug disposal pouches, manufactured by Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, safely dispose of up to 45 pill tablets, 6 ounces of liquid or 6 patches. Once the medications are mixed with a small amount of water in the bag, the chemical compounds in the medications are deactivated. The biodegradable bag can then be safely disposed of in the trash. (Photo: Chesterfield County)

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Throughout the month of March, Chesterfield County is promoting the proper disposal of expired or unused medications in an effort to reduce the number drug overdoses, which is the leading cause of accidental death in the U.S.

According to a release, through its Don’t Be An Accidental Drug Dealer campaign, the County is providing free medication disposal pouches for pick-up at various library locations.

Once the medications are mixed with a small amount of water in the bag, the chemical compounds in the medications are deactivated. The biodegradable bag can be thrown out safely in the trash.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 61% of people ages 12 and older who misuse and abuse prescription pain relievers receive them from friends or family members. Each year, more than 70,000 children under the age of 18 go to the emergency room because of unintentional medication overdoses, highlighting the importance of proper disposal of such drugs.

In fact, since Jan. 1, 2021, the Chesterfield County Police Department has responded to 105 accidental overdose calls for service, both fatal and non-fatal. These calls are deemed suspected overdoses until official reports determine what substance, if any, was involved.

Residents can pick up their free medication disposal pouches at the following Chesterfield County Public Library locations:

  • Bon Air Library – 9103 Rattlesnake Road
  • Chester Library – 11800 Centre Street
  • Clover Hill Library – 6701 Deer Run Drive
  • Enon Library – 1801 Enon Church Road
  • Ettrick-Matoaca Library – 4501 River Road
  • LaPrade Library – 9000 Hull Street Road
  • Meadowdale Library – 4301 Meadowdale Boulevard
  • Midlothian Library – 521 Coalfield Road
  • North Courthouse Road Library – 325 Courthouse Road

Expired and unused medications also can be disposed of safely year-round using the disposal box at the Chesterfield Police Headquarters at 10001 Iron Bridge Road.

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