MADISON – Officials are urging everyone to participate in National Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, April 27, when police departments across southern West Virginia will provide locations for residents to safely drop-off their expired or unused prescriptions and over-the-counter medications.
In Boone County, unused prescriptions and over-the-counter medications can be dropped off at the Boone County Sheriff’s Department in Madison and in previous years at Racine Park as well.
Residents can drop unused, unwanted, and expired medications into boxes provided anonymously. The box will then be properly disposed of by incineration.
Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are increasing at alarming rates, as are the numbers of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.
Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.
According to the latest report from the WV Partnership to Promote Community Well-Being (WV Partnership) and the WV Prevention Resource Center (WVPRC), the financial impact of drug and alcohol abuse in West Virginia is more than $1.6 billion annually. The report projects costs could rise to more than $2.3 billion by 2017 if urgent actions are not taken.
“We know there is no single answer, not one action, nor a ‘silver bullet’ in our fight against prescription drug abuse, but one way to truly affect this epidemic is to limit supply, and focus on the prevention of new issues,” said Rahall, who is co-chairman of the Congressional Caucus on Prescription Drug Abuse. “Working in partnership with law enforcement, Drug Take-Back Day is one of the simplest, most effective, prevention measures we have on our side. In the end, our collective efforts can save lives, save medical resources, hospital beds and prison cells, broken homes and orphaned little ones. It will save commerce and all levels of government scarce resources. Yes, that means savings to the taxpayer.”
Drug Take-Back Day is sponsored nationwide by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency in coordination with state and local law enforcement to provide the public with a no-questions-asked opportunity to turn in expired, unwanted, or unused pharmaceuticals, controlled substances, and other medications that will be safely removed from communities and destroyed. Citizens can anonymously drop off medications between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. at any one of the drop-off locations in southern West Virginia.
Rahall is a strong supporter of proper medical disposal as one prong of the four-part strategy he is pursuing on prescription drug abuse – a strategy that tracks the recommendations of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). The four major areas of that strategy are: education, tracking and monitoring, proper medical disposal, and enforcement.
Rahall has supported and advocated funding for the Drug Enforcement Administration to improve and strengthen its National Take-Back Day, and recently urged the House Committee on Appropriations to maintain robust funding for the initiative.
With a prescription drug epidemic raging across the country, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) encouraged West Virginians to participate in the sixth National Drug Take Back Day, an opportunity to dispose of any expired, unused or unwanted prescription drugs.
The Drug Enforcement Administration has scheduled the sixth National Drug Take Back Day on April 27 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Cleaning out medicine cabinets can reduce the risk of prescription drug abuse, and participation in the annual public event helps to increase awareness of this critical health issue.
“Our prescription drug abuse epidemic is devastating to communities across West Virginia and this country, whether it prevents employers from hiring drug-free workers or it tears families apart,” Senator Manchin said. “Participating in Drug Take Back Day is an opportunity to bring neighbors and families together from all sides of this epidemic to work toward fighting against drug abuse. These events not only help combat drug abuse by providing an opportunity to safely dispose of these medications, but they spread awareness of this critical issue. Let’s continue to work together so that West Virginia and our beautiful country can have strong, drug-free communities.”