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Drug ‘take back’ is set for Oct. 29

By Staff | Oct 19, 2011

A total of 82 pounds of prescription and over the counter drugs were dropped off at collection sites in Tyler County over the two-day National Prescription Drug Take Back Days event last May.

Prescription Drug Take Back Day in Tyler County will be held October 29 at two locations.

Communities nationwide will be participating in the program. The two local sites operating for area residents to safely dispose of unwanted and unused prescription drugs are Middlebourne Fire Department 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., and Sistersville Fire Department 2 p.m. 6 p.m.

National Prescription Drug Take Back Days is sponsored by Tyler County Prevention Partnership, Tyler County Sheriff’s Department, and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

More than 7 million Americans currently abuse prescription drugs according to the 2009 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Each day approximately 2,500 teens use prescription drugs to get hich for the first time, according to the Partnership for a Drug Free America. In West Virginia, over 64 percent of people who abuse prescription drugs get them for FREE from friends and relatives.

Americans participating in the United States Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA’s) second National Prescription Drug Take-Back event on April 30 turned in more than 376,593 pounds (188 tons) of unwanted or expired medications for safe and proper disposal at the 5,361 take-back sites that were available in all 50 states. This is 55 percent more than the 242,000 pounds (121 tons) the public brought in during last September’s event.

Citizens can help reduce prescription drug abuse and theft in the community by cleaning out medicine cabinets and turning excess medicine over to the Tyler County Sheriff’s Department and the DEA for proper destruction. All solid dosage pharmaceutical products and liquids in consumer containers may be accepted. Liquid products, such as cough syrup, should remain in the original container. Intravenous solutions, injected medications and syringes will not be accepted due to potential hazards posed by blood-borne pathogens.

A total of 82 pounds of prescription and over the counter drugs were dropped off at collection sites in Tyler County over the two-day National Prescription Drug Take Back Days event last May, some with a street value of $45 – $70 per pill, according to Coordinator Katrina Byers.

Clifford Weekley, who dropped off un-wanted medicines at the May Drug Take Back Dayon, noted that this was the first time he had participated in the program.

“It’s good for the community,” he remarked. “They give you a 90 day supply of medicine at the Veteran’s Hospital,” he explained, and added, “then they change your medication. We end up with a lot of extra stuff.”

“Prescription drugs are one of the biggest drug problems here in Tyler County,” remarked Sheriff Earl (Bob) Kendle.

“We would like to ask the community to bring their prescription bottles in when disposing of medications,” requested Katrina Byers, Coordinator. “We will be attempting to track what type of drugs are being disposed of. We will return the bottles,” she noted, explaining the information is only about the contents. “We aren’t interested in whose name is on the bottle. We only want the data about the type of medication.”

The program is anonymous and all efforts will be made to protect the identity of individuals disposing of unwanted prescriptions.

“With the support and hard work of our local law enforcement and community partners, these events not only dramatically reduce the risk of prescription drug diversion and abuse, but also increase awareness of this critical public health issue,” said DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart.