DEA receives 300-plus pounds of Rx drugs
Published: October 4, 2012
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ST. THOMAS - Virgin Islanders turned in more than 300 pounds of expired and unwanted prescription and over-the-counter drugs Saturday as part of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.
Tim Williams, the DEA's resident agent in charge on St. Croix, said the island's four collection sites netted 311 pounds of unwanted drugs. He said that number is down somewhat from the 400 pounds collected on St. Croix during a similar event six months ago.
St. Thomas and St. John residents turned in around 30 pounds of drugs on Saturday, according to the DEA's St. Thomas-St. John resident agent in charge Eric Barnard. He said that figure is six times what was collected on St. Thomas and St. John at a similar even last year.
"It was a pretty good turnout," Barnard said. "People were coming in throughout the day. A lot of people didn't know it was a DEA function."
The take-back was on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at four collection sites on St. Croix, and one each on St. Thomas and St. John.
The total amount collected on all three islands - 341 pounds - is notably high on a per-capita basis. Williams said Puerto Rico, for example, collects about 700 or 800 pounds at similar events from a population of about 4 million.
Based on those figures, the V.I. turned in 310 pounds of drugs per 100,000 people compared with 20 pounds for Puerto Rico.
"For such a small population, it's outstanding," Williams said.
The DEA incinerates the materials it collects at events like the drug take-back, according to Barnard.
Williams said the agency plans to repeat the event in the future and details will be publicized when available.