“We are pleased to once again join this national effort to help rid our state of unwanted prescriptions and unused over-the-counter medication,” Morrisey said in a statement. “Safely disposing of medication is an important way that we can keep drugs out of the wrong hands.”
Morrisey says prescription drug abuse remains a significant problem in West Virginia and the nation. A report found that the Mountain State has the highest drug overdose death rate in the nation. At about 35.5 overdose deaths per 100,000 people, it is more than double the national average.
The Capitol site will be one of almost 120 collection locations in the state. Morrisey’s office has participated in the event each year since 2013.
The U.S. 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 with one in the spring and one in the fall.
According to the 2014 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), about 4.3 million Americans aged 12 and older classify themselves as being “current non-medical users of pain relievers”—the second most common type of illicit drug use in 2014. That same study revealed a majority of people abusing prescription pain relievers obtained them through friends or relatives.
For more information on National Drug Take-Back Day and a list of statewide location visit http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/index.html.