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Image of the Virginia AG Seal

Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Attorney General

Mark Herring
Attorney General

202 North Ninth Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219

 

For media inquiries only, contact:  
Michael Kelly, Director of Communications
Phone: (804)786-5874 
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

DRUG DISPOSAL KITS NOW AVAILABLE THROUGHOUT VIRGINIA

~ Attorney General Herring secured the donation of 80,000 individually sized kits that are now available through state facilities and law enforcement, healthcare, and nonprofit agencies ~

RICHMOND(November 10, 2016)-Beginning today, Virginians with excess or unused prescription opioids or other drugs can pick up a drug deactivation kit at one of dozens of locations throughout the Commonwealth. Attorney General Mark R. Herring secured the donation of 80,000 drug deactivation kits capable of safely disposing of 3.6 million leftover prescription pills as part of his comprehensive strategy to address the heroin and prescription opioid crisis. Kits are being distributed at Virginia Department of Health Clinics, Community Service Boards, and law enforcement, healthcare, and nonprofit agencies in every community in Virginia. The list of distribution sites is listed below, as well as an interactive map of sites, and Virginians are encouraged to call before going to pick up a kit to confirm availability. 

 

"Disposing of unused and unneeded prescriptions is an important part of fighting the opioid crisis that so often starts in the medicine cabinet with abuse or misuse of otherwise legally prescribed painkillers," said Attorney General Herring. "These kits are going to make it easy for Virginians to safely and quickly dispose of excess prescriptions before they can be abused, misused, or accidentally ingested. I'm really glad we were able to make these so widely available through our partnership with VDH and other community partners around the Commonwealth."

 

All kits are available at no charge to Virginians or the Commonwealth. Approximately 50,000 kits are being distributed in partnership with the Virginia Department of Health, while an additional 30,000 are being distributed through local hospitals, law enforcement agencies, pharmacies, and nonprofits that applied to distribute kits.

 

There is a strong link between misuse of prescription opioids, opioid addiction, and even later use of heroin once prescriptions become too expensive or are no longer accessible. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse:

  • Half of young people who used heroin got started by abusing prescription opioids.
  • One in fifteen individuals who misuse prescription opioid painkillers will try heroin within 10 years.
  • The number of opioid prescriptions has nearly tripled over the last 25 years, and the United States now accounts for nearly 100 percent of the world's hydrocodone prescriptions and 81 percent for oxycodone.
  • The number of Americans abusing heroin nearly doubled from 2007 to 2012, with nearly 700,000 now abusing heroin.

In Virginia, abuse and overdose deaths continue to rise:

  • Prescription opioid overdose deaths have risen 44 percent between 2007 and 2015, from 399 deaths to 576.
  • Heroin overdose deaths have risen more than 600 percent between 2010 and 2015, from 48 to 342.
  • Fentanyl deaths have risen 367 percent from 2007 to 2015, from 48 to 224.
  • More than 500 people went to a Virginia emergency room from a heroin overdose in the first four months of 2016, a 250% increase over 2015.

Attorney General Herring has made combating the heroin and prescription opioid epidemic a top priority, attacking the problem with a multifaceted approach that includes enforcement, education, prevention, and legislation to encourage reporting of overdoses in progress, expand the availability of naloxone, and expand access to the Prescription Monitoring Program. He has supported federal efforts to improve the availability of treatment and recovery resources and recently partnered with U.S. Attorney Dana Boente to create the Hampton Roads Heroin Working Group to develop holistic, community-driven solutions to the heroin and opioid crisis.

 

Kits are available at the following locations throughout the Commonwealth, and Virginians are encouraged to contact the distribution partner to ensure kits are still available:

 

 

Click here for an interactive map of drug disposal kit distribution sites.

 

 

 

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