CHARLESTON -- U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Resident Agent in Charge Suzan Williamson have announced that Saturday's Prescription Drug Take-Back event collected a total of 6,211 pounds of unwanted, unused and expired prescription drugs from citizens and households across West Virginia.
The April 26 collection results far surpassed the previous Take-Back record of 4,976 pounds of prescription drugs collected in October 2013.
"The last three Take-Back events have each resulted in record totals of prescription medications collected," Goodwin said in a press release. "Last Saturday, we broke our old record by more than half a ton.
"My thanks go to the DEA and all of the law enforcement agencies that participated. Most of all, I want to thank the citizens of West Virginia, who've stepped up in tremendous fashion to keep their unwanted prescription medicines out of the wrong hands.”
Williamson commended all of the federal, state and local law enforcement partners in West Virginia for their assistance.
“There were 127 collection sites designated throughout the state for the April 26th event, providing convenient and accessible locations for the citizens of West Virginia to drop off expired, unused and unwanted medications," she said. "It is the assistance of all of our law enforcement partners that continues to make Prescription Drug Take-Back events in West Virginia so successful.”
In the seven previous Take-Back events, the DEA and its law enforcement partners have collected more than 3.4 million pounds (1,733 tons) of prescription medications nationwide. By removing unwanted prescription medications from American homes, each Take-Back event helps prevent potentially addictive substances from falling into the hands of children and teenagers.
The Take-Back program also reduces the risk of burglaries and home invasions staged by criminals seeking household prescription drugs.
Goodwin encouraged West Virginia citizens to make proper disposal of their prescription medications a regular habit.
“While the twice-a-year Take-Back events are tremendously successful, many of our law enforcement agencies now maintain permanent drop-off boxes to allow more frequent disposal of prescription drugs," he said. "Sheriffs’ Departments in Kanawha, Putnam, Raleigh, Greenbrier and Wood counties are among those agencies that collect prescriptions drugs throughout the year.
"Since proper disposal is vital in keeping these drugs off the streets, I encourage our citizens to continue to take advantage of permanent drop-off boxes available in their communities.”