Medication Take Backs

Don’t be an accidental drug dealer…

61% of people ages 12 and older who misuse prescription pain relievers get them from a friend or family member. Visit to find out where you can get a free drug-deactivation pouch to safely dispose of your prescription medications.


Richmond Family Magazine – Communities in Crisis

Imagine the problems of a typical suburban teen: Calculus test? Girlfriend issues? Not sure what to wear to prom?

Most people don’t picture heroin addiction.

I would say that we’re just a normal family,” said Henrico County mom Jenny Derr. “I was room parent for my kids, on the PTA board, and we sat down and ate dinner together every night.”

But the model family was shattered when they learned their son, Billy, a popular student at Mills Godwin High School, was addicted to drugs. After struggling for several years to stay sober and kick the addiction, Billy passed away from an overdose on April 12, 2016.

Billy Derr’s addiction wasn’t an isolated problem.

“Just a few weeks into my term, I learned what too many parents already know: We have a (prescription opioid) problem,” Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring told a group of concerned citizens at an event at Godwin. “There is no typical heroin or opioid abuser. It can touch every one of us. The numbers don’t seem real, they’re so large.” READ MORE

Over 459 lbs of unwanted or unused medication was collected from 115 drop offs at the March 14th medication take back event!

Thank you to the Chesterfield County Police Department, Chesterfield County Sheriff’s Office, Medical Reserve Corps volunteers and everyone in the community who came out to make this a successful event.

Prescription Drug Abuse

The abuse of prescription drugs and over-the-counter cough medicines is the fastest growing form of substance abuse. Locking your medications and disposing of unneeded medications are two important ways of helping prevent access to those who might abuse them.

Medication Take Backs

Medication take-back events provide an environmentally safe way to dispose of unneeded medications and keep them from being diverted for possible misuse.

What can you bring?  Expired and unused over-the-counter medications and prescription drugs. NO NEEDLES/SHARPS! Leave medications in original containers. Questions? Call SAFE at 796-7100.

Although take-backs provide the most environmentally friendly way to dispose of medications, if you can’t make a take-back event, there are safe ways for you to dispose of your medications at home.

The Chesterfield Police Department, in partnership with SAFE, has collected over 18,000 pounds of medications, from 3,515 citizens, since take-back events began in 2010.

There are also two medication disposal kiosks available  for use for free at the following Walgreens Pharmacy locations:

6851 Temie Lee Pkwy
Midlothian, VA 23112

4201 Meadowdale Blvd.
North Chesterfield, VA 23234

Nationally, prescription drug abuse kills more teens than cocaine, heroin and methamphetamines combined.

The 2014 survey of youth in Chesterfield County revealed that the percentage of youths abusing infographic_presc_heroinprescription narcotics, stimulants, sedatives and tranquilizers is still above national averages, but the data does show some decline in the percentage of medication abuse among students since our 2012 survey.  More Chesterfield youths are still abusing over-the-counter medications, such as cough medicine, more than are abusing prescription medications.

Friends and family are the most common source of medications misused by youths in the U.S. Around 70 percent of youths who reported misusing prescription stimulants, tranquilizers or sedatives in the past year said that they most recently obtained the medication from friends or family, with or without their permission.

What can parents do?

  • Educate yourself: Learn what types of prescription drugs can be abused. Ask the doctor or pharmacist when you receive a prescription whether it has potential for abuse.
  • Talk with your teen: Find out what they know about prescription drug or cough medicine abuse. Teens often think that prescription drugs are safer than street drugs, which is not true.
  • Set clear rules: Tell your teen to never take medications that have not been prescribed for them, share their medications with others or take their own medications in greater quantities than prescribed.
  • Safeguard all drugs at home: Control access by keeping prescription drugs in a locked container or cabinet, especially pain pills, anti-anxiety meds, anti-depressants, sleeping pills, stimulants such as Adderal and other abusable meds such as over-the-counter cough medicines, and monitor quantities. Ask friends and family to safeguard their medications as well.
  • Dispose of old or unused medicines: Do not flush drugs down the toilet. Mix with an undesirable substance such as used coffee grounds, place in a sealed bag or container and discard in the trash. Better yet, take them to a medication take-back.