One reason citizens turned in 60 pounds of drugs at a Richmond Police Department (RPD) Prescription Drug Take-Back event on Saturday is some realized a simple Tylenol resolved their pain issues, according to police.
RPD held the take-back event at Richmond Public Library. While the 60 pounds police received from citizens paled in comparison to the 100 pounds handed over during an April take-back event, police Sgt. Tim Simmons says a bin that is permanently placed in the lobby of police headquarters is being used more frequently.
“I serviced the bin two weeks ago and collected approximately 15 pounds of prescription drugs,” Simmons said. “I see this almost every other week.”
A vast majority of the medication handed over to police are Opiate based pain killers such as Norco, Vicodin, and Oxycodone, Simmons said, which are dangerous, addictive and frequently sold on the streets. Unused or unwanted pills stored in homes can end up in the wrong hands, including children’s, and take back events offer legal, safe disposal.
What’s more interesting is why people generally want to get rid of the pills.
“Many people are prescribed these medications after having minor surgeries or even basic dental work,” Simmons said. “Most people realize that a simple Tylenol resolves their pain issue and never consume the potent narcotic prescribed to them. Or if they need something stronger, they use only a portion of the medication prescribed to them.”
The Richmond Standard’s editor asked his own dentist, who agreed over-the-counter pain relievers work remarkably well when consumed in proper time, and often better than prescription medication since there are fewer side effects.
Simmons added, “We get a lot of people who have loved ones that pass away and are left with a plethora of medication to dispose of, and they use these events and the drop box to do just that.”
Three times a year, RPD partners with the federal Drug Enforcement Administration and local community groups to reclaim mass quantities of unused and unwanted prescription drugs. The permanent bin provided in the Police Department lobby at 1701 Regatta Blvd. was funded through a grant.