Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Editorials

April 26, 2014

Drug Take-Back Day: Participation in campaign critical

— — Given the region’s rampant prescription drug abuse problem, we are encouraged to see that a number of local law enforcement agencies across our area are participating in today’s national “Prescription Drug Take-Back Day” initiative.

Drug Take-Back Day, sponsored by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) in cooperation with state and local law enforcement agencies, provides the public a no-questions-asked opportunity to turn in expired, unwanted or unused drugs. People can anonymously drop off medications today from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at any of the drop-off locations in the region.

The drop-off locations will allow residents to dispose of expired, unexpired, unwanted or unused pharmaceutical controlled substances and other unwanted medications that may still be sitting in one’s medicine cabinet. Law enforcement officials will, in return, properly dispose of the controlled substances.

The Drug Take-Back program is now in its third year, and the response to the campaign has grown every year, according to Sgt. M.S. Haynes of the West Virginia State Police Princeton detachment.

In October 2013, Americans turned in 325 tons of prescription drugs at 4,114 sites operated by the DEA and participating state and local law enforcement agencies. When those results are combined with what was collected during previous Drug Take-Back Days, more than 3.4 million pounds of pills were taken off the street, DEA officials said.

Local drop-off points today include the following agencies:

• Bluefield Police Department at 200 South Mercer Street, Bluefield.

• Community Connections, Inc., 215 S. Walker St., Princeton, in cooperation with the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department.

• West Virginia State Police, 910 Oakvale Road, Princeton.

• McDowell County Sheriff’s Department, Riverview High School parking lot, 512 Mountaineer Highway, Bradshaw.

• McDowell County Sheriff’s Department, Wal-Mart, 61 Plaza Drive, Kimball.

Residents across the region with unwanted, unused or expired prescription medication sitting in their medicine cabinet or other locations are urged to participate in today’s event. By properly disposing of such unwanted prescription drugs, we are ensuring that the medication doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. That’s why all area families should take a few minutes to clean out their medicine cabinets of unwanted and unused prescription narcotics.

This simple act will help to ensure that the drugs do not end up in the hands of a drug dealer, or worse yet, a small child or family member who may accidentally come across or consume the unused medication.

 

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