CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Chesterfield County has promoted multiple initiatives on the prevention of drug smuggling and trafficking in the past year — in addition to calling attention to drug safety and proper disposal. Chesterfield has made the national epidemic of prescription drug abuse a clear highlight of the county’s goals for 2022.

At the 5th Annual ‘A Night for Scott’ fundraiser in February, Sheriff Karl Leonard spoke about the need for increased attention to the stories of those battling opioid addiction.

Currently, Chesterfield County is promoting the proper disposal and storage of expired or unused medications through its “Don’t Be An Accidental Drug Dealer” campaign this spring.

The campaign will make free medication disposal pouches and locking bags available to pick up at various locations throughout the county while supplies last.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 61 percent of people ages 12 and older who misuse prescription pain relievers get them from a friend or family member. The county said that is why it’s so important to dispose of expired or unused medications properly and to keep other medications secure while they are being used.

One pouch can dispose of up to 45 pill tablets, six ounces of liquid or six patches.

Once the medications are mixed with a small amount of water in the bag, the chemical compounds in the medications are deactivated.

Citizens can pick up their free drug-deactivation pouches and locking bags at the following locations:

Chesterfield County Public Library locations:

  • Bon Air Library — 9103 Rattlesnake Road
  • Central Library — 7051 Lucy Corr Blvd.
  • Chester Library — 11800 Centre St.
  • 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 Blvd.
  • North Courthouse Road Library — 325 Courthouse Road
  • Chesterfield County Police Department — Police Administration Building Lobby Desk, 10001 Iron Bridge Road

Last month, a man being committed to Chesterfield County Jail for felony probation charges was caught smuggling drugs into the jail while being processed as a new inmate.

Incoming inmates are typically searched by Chesterfield Police and then sheriff’s deputies before being brought to the X-ray scanner.

Since installing the body scanner in 2019, CCSO has found numerous cases of smuggling — which has increased within the last year, according to Sheriff Karl Leonard.