Fairfax County Police have announced they took in 3,569 pounds of prescription drugs during April’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.

Twice a year, local police and fire departments across the country participate in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. This is a time when residents can surrender their leftover and unneeded prescription medications for disposal with no questions asked.

The event has taken on more importance in recent years as opioid overdoses in the Mid-Atlantic region, and across the country, continue to rise. The idea is for people, especially parents, to turn in unneeded prescriptions to prevent them from falling into the wrong hands or accidentally being ingested.

While most of the country’s opioid overdoses stem from heroin and fentanyl abuse, many opioid addictions start out with prescription painkillers. People become addicted to drugs like oxycodone or hydrocodone and then when those prescriptions run out, they turn to other illicit drugs.

This year’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day received more exposure as the Trump administration continues to look for ways to tackle the country’s opioid epidemic. Across the country, close to one million pounds (475 tons) of prescription drugs were turned in to law enforcement and sent to the Drug Enforcement Agency for destruction.

Fairfax County contributed to that total by turning over 3,569 pounds of prescription pills. The numbers were released by the Fairfax County Police Department and list how many pills were turned over at each of the department’s stations. The West Springfield station received the most pills in the entire county (729 pounds).

Station Weight by Pounds
Sully 406
Mt. Vernon 285
McLean 573
Mason 395
Reston 523
Franconia 256
West Springfield 729
Fair Oaks 402
Total: 3,569

Just to put this in perspective, 50 Oxycontin 80s (the largest dosage available) would weigh exactly 4 grams. It would take 20,184,850 of these large opioid pills to amass the 1.78 tons that the Fairfax County Police Department collected. As significant as Fairfax County’s haul was, it is just three-tenths of a percent of all of the pills that were surrendered nationwide. Still, it is impressive considering the fact that there are more than 3,o0o counties in the United States.

Did you participate in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day this year? Tell us what your experience at the police station was like! Please leave a comment below!

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