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Take Back Prescription Drugs Day Can Save Lives

One of the most important things we can do as a community to fight the overdose epidemic is to safeguard our homes by safely getting rid of any unneeded or expired medications lying around.

On Saturday, October 28 is the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. It’s a day set aside, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., when everyone can bring unused or unwanted medications to collection sites for proper disposal and there’s no charge.

It’s important for several reasons. If you have young grandchildren or children in your home, you can prevent accidental poisoning of mischievous youngsters or pets. Getting rid of medications can help deter intentional misuse by teenagers and adults, as well as the possibility of theft.

You can also avoid health complications caused by accidentally taking the wrong medicine, too much of the same medicine, or medicine that’s expired and no longer works effectively.

Not to mention that by turning meds in to be destroyed instead of pouring them down a drain or flushing them in the toilet, we can prevent polluting our water systems.

The Volusia Sheriff’s Office participates in this National Take Back Day campaign twice a year—April and October—because we and the DEA are committed to helping our communities get rid of medication and vaping devices that have been linked to injuries, addiction, and overdose deaths.

I’m happy to report that drug overdoses and overdose deaths are consistently declining here in Volusia County compared to the rates last year. That’s why we must keep doing what we can to help.

In May, the DEA reported Americans turned in nearly 664,000 pounds of unneeded medications at nearly 5,000 collection sites nationwide. Since the program began in 2010, Take Back Day has removed more than 17 million pounds of unnecessary medications from across the country. Those medications can be a gateway to addiction and have helped fuel the tragic opioid epidemic.

No questions asked—just bring your unused medication to our Volusia Sheriff’s Office district locations.

• District 2: New location—Aviation Unit, 951 Singleton Drive, DeLand. For Information, call 386.943.7688.
• District 3 North: 1435 U.S. 1, Suite D-3, Ormond Beach. For more info, call 386.323.0151.
• District 4: 1691 Providence Blvd., Deltona. For more info, call 386.860.7030.
• District 6: 79 S. Charles Beall Blvd., DeBary. For more info, call 386.668.3830.

If Saturday’s collection sites aren’t convenient, you’ll find a locked, mailbox-style receptacle at the Districts 3 North, 4 and 6 offices so you can safely dispose your meds during regular business hours all year long. Volusia County residents may also call a deputy at 386.248.1777 to request a pickup.
The DEA website offers important help for locating drug treatment, identifying counterfeit pills, preventing drug addiction, and more.

How Much We Collected:
In April, we collected nearly 498 pounds of unwanted medications in Volusia County. That includes 123 pounds of medications turned in on Take Back Day at our district offices, along with 374 pounds collected from our drop boxes, October 29, 2022, to April 22, 2023.

Here’s how we compare to previous collections in 2022 and 2021:
In October 2022, we collected 463 pounds of medicine from Take Back Day and in our mailbox-style drop boxes at our district offices from year-round collections.

In May 2022, we collected 500 pounds from Take Back Day and our drop boxes.

In October 2021, we collected 424 pounds from Take Back Day and the drop boxes.

Thanks everyone for doing your part to protect your home and our environment. Together we can make a difference and keep our loved ones safe.

Happy Halloween,
Sheriff Chitwood