CHARLESTON – West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey's office will participate in the tenth National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 26 near the East Rotunda on the California Street side of the West Virginia Capitol.
“We are pleased to join this national effort to help rid our state and communities of unwanted prescriptions and unused over-the-counter medication,” Morrisey said in a statement. “Safely disposing of unwanted medication is an important way that we can keep these drugs off our streets and out of the wrong hands.
"Even if the medicine is not one that typically is ‘abused,’ it is critical that pills, liquid and other forms of prescriptions are disposed of properly.”
Prescription drug abuse remains a significant problem in West Virginia and the nation. A recent report found that the Mountain State has the highest drug overdose death rate in the nation. At about 34 overdose deaths per 100,000 people, it is more than double the national average.
The Capitol site will be one of more than 120 collection locations in the state. To find a location closer to where you live, the DEA has an easy-to-use search feature for nearby collection sites at: http://1.usa.gov/1ujhcxF
The federal Drug Enforcement Administration spearheads the Drug Take-Back Day, which was initially launched in 2010. During the event, local and state law enforcement agencies collect unused medication and responsibly dispose of it. The DEA typically hosts two prescription drug take-back days per year: one in the spring and one in the fall.
“I would encourage everyone to take a look through their medicine cabinet and clean out any unused, unwanted or expired medications and bring them to the event,” Morrisey said. “Medicine that is thrown into the trash can be found by people looking to abuse drugs and flushing it down the toilet can harm the environment.”
According to the 2013 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), about 4.5 million Americans aged 12 and older classify themselves as being “current non-medical users of pain relievers.” That same study revealed more than 63 percent of people abusing prescription pain relievers obtained them through friends or relatives, a statistic that includes raiding the family medicine cabinet.
“It will take a true community effort to end our drug epidemic. This event is just one way we can help fight against prescription drug abuse in our state,” Morrisey said.
To find a Prescription Drug Take-Back collection site in your community, go to http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/ and click on “Locate collection sites.”