ABOVE: Police chief Jeffrey S. Katz and Regina Whitsett. CHESTERFIELD – A MedReturn Drug Collection Unit was recently installed in the lobby of Chesterfield County... Medication collection unit installed at police headquarters

ABOVE: Police chief Jeffrey S. Katz and Regina Whitsett.

CHESTERFIELD – A MedReturn Drug Collection Unit was recently installed in the lobby of Chesterfield County Police headquarters at 10001 Iron Bridge Road.

The unit was donated to the police department by Substance Abuse Free Environment, Inc., the substance abuse prevention coalition serving Chesterfield County. The collection unit will give residents a safe and environmentally responsible way to dispose of unwanted, unused or expired prescription and over-the-counter medications. Needles, syringes and other “sharps” will not be accepted.

“Our department, in partnership with SAFE and other agencies, has hosted medication take-backs regularly since 2010,” police chief Jeffrey S. Katz said. “At those events, we have collected over 22,500 pounds of medication. This drug collection unit will allow residents to dispose of unused medications between scheduled medication take-backs.

“Like communities across the country, Chesterfield County is grappling with the devastating impacts of addiction. We continuously work, both internally and with other groups, to reduce the negative consequences of addiction through prevention, education, outreach, and enforcement. The installation of this drug collection unit is part of that ongoing effort.”

“More than 61 percent of youth who used prescription drugs not prescribed to them say they found them in the home, according to the 2016 Community Youth and Young Adult surveys,” Regina Whitsett, executive director of SAFE, said. “Reducing the availability of drugs is critical for the protection of our youth. Having a drop box permanently located in the community will decrease youth access to unused prescription medications.”

The lobby of police headquarters is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.