ST. ALBANS, W.Va. — Got unused prescription drugs in your medicine cabinet? This Saturday is the time to get rid of them. It’s a national Prescription Drug Take Back Day sponsored by the DEA and the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Here in West Virginia, Take Back sites will be set up all across the state.
West Virginia has taken part in the past seven Take Back Days. They happen once every spring and fall. So far, West Virginians have dropped off 13 tons of pills and U.S. Attorney for the Southern District, Booth Goodwin, expects at least another couple ton this Saturday.
“We’re really seeing overall a great outpouring of support and concern from citizens around the state because they recognize how big an issue this is,” according to Goodwin.
Since the program got underway four years ago, Goodwin said they’ve seen more and more prescriptions dropped off during each event. He expected that number to go down as time went on but it continues to climb. He is confident the message of the dangers of unused prescription drug pills just sitting, in a cabinet is getting out to the general public.
“Seventy percent (of abused prescription drugs) come directly out of medicine cabinets from friends and family, especially for first time users,” explained Goodwin.
The U.S. Attorney stressed getting rid of the pills will cut down on first time users and hopefully will have an impact in the number of drug abusers in the future. He said that’s especially important now that the state is starting to see more and more cases of heroine abuse.
“We’re seeing a spike in heroin and the road to heroin goes through prescription drugs,” said Goodwin.
When you drop off those drugs at one of the Take Back sites, they will be disposed of in an environmentally friendly method.
“They are disposed of properly. They’re incinerated. They taken in and they’re burned. Flushing them down the toilet has obvious environmental concerns. Throwing them away, people can pick them back out, of the garbage. We’ve seen that happen,” said Goodwin. “This is obviously the preferred method of disposal.”
To find where those drop off spots are located, log on to dea.gov for a full listing.