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Ohio Valley Sets Drug Take Back Events

By Staff | Apr 27, 2011

In a collaborative effort to prevent prescription drug abuse, The Wetzel County Sheriff’s Office, Coalition Against Drug Abuse, Norris Pharmacy, and the New Martinsville Volunteer Fire Department have partnered with the DEA for the National Drug Take Back Day to be held on April 30 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Norris Pharmacy in Pine Grove, and the NMVFD on Ohio Street in New Martinsville. Prescription and over-the-counter medications may be dropped off for disposal by the DEA.

There will also be opportunities to dispose of such medications in Tyler County over the weekend. The Tyler County Prevention Partnership is also teaming up with the Tyler County Sheriff’s Department and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) as part of the National Prescription Drug Take Back Days to provide venue for people who would like to dispose of unwanted and unused prescription drugs.

On April 29-30, communities across the State of West Virginia will be providing local sites for everyone to safely dispose of these unwanted and unused prescription drugs. You can help reduce prescription drug abuse and theft in your community by cleaning out your medicine cabinets and turning your excess medicine over to the Tyler County Sheriff’s Department and the DEA for proper destruction.  The event will be held on April 29 at Alma Grange Hall from 9 a.m. to noon and at the Middlebourne Fire Hall from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. On April 30, the event will be at Paden City Health Department from 9 a.m. until noon and at Sistersville Fire Hall from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m.  If you have any questions, please contact Brandi Fletcher or Toni VanCamp at 304-758-5046.

Meanwhile, the Wheeling Police Department (WPD) and the Ohio County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition (OCSAPC) are co-sponsoring “Rx Drug Take-Back Day” on April 30 as well. Area residents are encouraged to clean out their medicine cabinets and bring in expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs for safe disposal. The prescription drug take-back event will take place from 10 a.m. to noon at the City of Wheeling Operations Center (off Mt. De Chantal Rd, near I-70, Washington Ave. Exit) 10 Hunter Avenue, Wheeling, WV 26003

  Reports from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) state that in September of 2010, “Americans turned in over 242,000 pounds–121 TONS–of prescription drugs at nearly 4,100 sites operated by more than 3,000 of the DEA’s state and local law enforcement partners.”

In addition to these concerns, improper disposal (i.e. flushing) of prescription drugs can pollute water systems and endanger the community. WPD officers and pharmacist volunteers will ensure that all medications will be collected, identified and destroyed through a secure chain of command, per DEA guidelines. Coalition volunteers will be on-site to provide more information on how residents can prevent prescription drug abuse. Plans for organizing a take-back event were initially discussed at the coalition’s 2010 RX Drug Summit, held at West Virginia Northern Community College (WVNCC) in March 2010 to raise awareness and collaboratively develop community-based strategies to prevent prescription drug abuse. Since that time, three prescription take back events have been held in Ohio County, collecting approximately 100 pounds of prescription medications at each event.

  “According to the WV Prescription Drug Abuse Quit line,” said Coalition Director Susan Oglinsky, “between 1999 and 2004, deaths resulting from drug overdose in West Virginia rose 550 percent. This was the largest increase of any state in the country.” Oglinsky added, “West Virginians actually fill an average of 18.7 prescriptions per person annually–this is much higher than the U.S. rate of 12. In Ohio County alone, between 2005 and 2007, Ohio County exceeded the West Virginia state rate for hospitalizations due to prescription drug dependence, abuse and poisoning.”

  The coalition hopes that Rx Take-Back Day will offer community members an opportunity to take action to prevent prescription drug abuse in their own homes and neighborhoods. This event is free and open to all residents from Ohio County and the surrounding areas of the Ohio Valley; free pill boxes reminding residents to “Lock and Count” their prescription medications will be available while supplies last. Residents are encouraged to bring in their prescription drugs in their original bottle if possible; police officers will be on hand to help identify and dispose of collected medications.

  The Ohio County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition (OCSAPC) is funded by a Drug Free Communities (DFC) Support Program Grant.