To help curb access to and abuse of pharmaceuticals, including opioids, Inova Loudoun and Inova Fair Oaks hospitals have launched a drug take back program.
This service is intended to curb inappropriate access to medications from children, teens and animals, while also helping keep waterways clean.
Patients and community members may to drop off unused or expired prescriptions and/or over-the-counter medications, including pet medications, in special collection boxes. To save space in the boxes, users are encouraged to empty medications into sealable plastic bags, which are available at the boxes.
At Inova Loudoun Hospital, the collection box has been installed at the south hospital entrance near the concierge desk.
Prescription opioid misuse and abuse has been a problem throughout the United States and regionally. According to the Virginia Department of Health, in 2016, the number of fatal opioid overdoses in Fairfax County was 80 and there were 29 in Loudoun County. In addition to the Drug Take Back Program, the Inova Loudoun and Inova Fair Oaks emergency departments have created Opioid Safety Initiative Committees, which are designed to scale back the use of opioid orders.