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National Drug Take Back Day Includes Wetzel

By Staff | Sep 15, 2010

The Wetzel County Sheriff’s Office has partnered with the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) for the National Drug Take Back Day on Sept. 25 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This one-day effort is intended to bring national focus to the issue of increasing prescription drug abuse. Numerous detachments and communities throughout the state will serve as collection sites, including two in Wetzel County, for the public to bring in unused, unwanted, or expired prescription or over-the-counter drugs anonymously for safe disposal, no questions asked.

Wetzel County drop-off sites include the New Martinsville Volunteer Fire Department located on Main Street and Norris Pharmacy in Pine Grove. Members of the Wetzel County Sheriff’s Office, the Wetzel County Coalition Against Drug Abuse, the New Martinsville Police Department, and the New Martinsville Volunteer Fire Department will be present at the New Martinsville site, and members of the Wetzel County Sheriff’s Office and the Wetzel County Coalition Against Drug Abuse will assist at the Pine Grove site.

Prescription and over the counter solid dosage medications such as tablets and capsules are accepted, however intravenous solutions, injectables, and needles will not be accepted. Additionally, illicit substances such as marijuana or methamphetamine are not a part of this initiative.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Many Americans are not aware that medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are increasing at alarming rates, as are the number 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. In addition, many Americans do not know how to properly dispose of their unused medicine, often flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away-both potential safety and health hazards.

“This effort symbolizes DEA’s commitment to halting the disturbing rise in addiction caused by their misuse and abuse. Working together with our state and local partners, the medical community, anti-drug coalitions, and a concerned public, we will eliminate a major source of abused prescription drugs, and reduce the hazard they pose to our families and communities in a safe, legal, and environmentally sound way, ” said Michele M. Leonhart, acting administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration.

“With this National Prescription Drug Take-Back campaign, we are aggressively reaching out to individuals to encourage them to rid their households of unused prescription drugs that pose a safety hazard and can contribute to prescription drug abuse,” said Acting Deputy Attorney General Gary G. Grindler. “The Department of Justice is committed to doing everything we can to make our communities safer, and this initiative represents a new front in our efforts.”

“Prescription drug abuse is the nation’s fastest-growing drug problem, and take-back events like this one are an indispensable tool for reducing the threat that the diversion and abuse of these drugs pose to public health,” said Director of National Drug Control Policy Gil Kerlikowske. “The federal, state, and local collaboration represented in this initiative is key in our national efforts to reduce pharmaceutical drug diversion and abuse.”

Collection sites in every local community can be found by going to www.dea.gov. This site will be continuously updated with new take-back locations. Other participants in this initiative include the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy; the Partnership for a Drug-Free America; the International Association of Chiefs of Police; the National Association of Attorneys General; the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy; the Federation of State Medical Boards; and the National District Attorneys Association.

For more information on the DEA efforts visit www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/takeback/.