Falls Church, VA — In another step to help curb access to and abuse of pharmaceuticals, including opioids, Inova Alexandria Hospital (IAH) is pleased to announce the launch of the Drug Take Back Program. This service is a safety initiative that helps patients and families avoid inappropriate access to medications for others in the household (children, teens, animals) and help keep our waterways clean.
Opioids are abused at epidemic proportions nationally and regionally; in Virginia, there were 1,130 opioid-related deaths in 2016 with rates rising tenfold from 2010. Inova Alexandria Hospital has installed a permanent drug take back collection box to provide patients, staff and community members a safe medication disposal site year-round. The IAH collection box is currently the second permanent box in the City of Alexandria; the other is located at Neighborhood Pharmacy of Del Ray on Mount Vernon Avenue.
Patients and community members are encouraged to drop off unused or expired prescriptions and/or over-the-counter medications (including pet medications). The collection box is not for illegal drugs, sharps, or inhalers.
“Inova Alexandria is committed to supporting the broader community efforts by serving as a permanent take back site,” said Rina Bansal, MD, MBA, Chief Medical Officer at Inova Alexandria Hospital. Partnering with the Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition of Alexandria and the City of Alexandria’s Opioid Workgroup, IHA promotes safe disposal of unused or expired prescription medication. In addition to the Drug Take Back Program, the Inova Alexandria Hospital Emergency Department has created an Opioid Safety Initiative Committee, which is designed to scale back the use of opioids in the ED.
The drug take back collection box has been installed in the Visitor Entrance lobby across from the welcome desk. The lobby hours are 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
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