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Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Attorney General

Mark Herring
Attorney General

900 East Main Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219


For media inquiries only, contact:  
Michael Kelly, Director of Communications
Phone: (804)786-5874 
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~ Attorney General encourages Virginians to dispose of unused prescriptions, especially opiates, at one of hundreds of drop-off sites ~

RICHMOND (September 25, 2014)--Attorney General Mark R. Herring is encouraging Virginians to take advantage of Saturday's National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, a partnership between the Drug Enforcement Agency and law enforcement partners across the nation, including many in Virginia. Abuse of prescription opiates is a widely acknowledged gateway to opiate addiction, and can lead addicts to cheaper, more accessible, and more potent heroin and other street drugs. Herring recently announced a 5-part action plan to combat prescription opiate and heroin abuse which focuses on prevention and education, prosecutions and partnerships, legislative solutions, accountability for professionals who make drugs available illegally, and an executive summit to develop coordinated solutions.

"Prevention and education are going to be absolutely essential if we're going to turn the tide of opiate and heroin abuse in Virginia and across the country," said Attorney General Herring. "Too many people fool themselves into believing that just because a drug was prescribed that it is safe, or can't be abused. As parents and heads of households, we all need to handle these medications responsibly, ensure they are used as proscribed, and keep them out of the hands of anyone who might seek to abuse them. I encourage all Virginians to take advantage of Saturday's Drug Take-Back locations so we can help keep unwanted or unused opiates from hitting the streets."

In 2013, more than 420 Virginians died of misuse or overdose of opiates like hydrocodone, oxycodone, or methadone. National research shows that 6.5 million people abused prescription drugs in 2013, the majority of whom got their drugs from friends or family members, including the home medicine cabinet.

Drop-off locations will be set up around Virginia from 10:00 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. To search for one in your area, visit: https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/.


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