To help combat the growing problem of prescription drug abuse in Southwest Virginia, local groups are joining the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to host the National Prescription Drug Take-Back. The event provides a way for individuals to safely dispose of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs.
Residents can go to one of seven locations in Wise, Scott, Lee counties and the city of Norton from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 26.
In Wise County, visit Walmart in Norton, Food City in Wise, Food City in Big Stone Gap and the Coeburn Police Department. In Lee County, visit Food City in Pennington Gap. In Scott County, visit Food City in Weber City and the Scott County Sheriff’s Office on Willow Street in Gate City.
For a complete list of Virginia collection sites, visit www.dea.gov. The service is free and anonymous. No questions are asked.
Medications that are accepted are controlled, non-controlled and over-the-counter, and all solid dosage products and liquids still in original container. The event will not dispose of IV fluids, sharps/needles and illicit substances such as marijuana and methamphetamine.
Last September, Americans turned in 309 tons (more than 617,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at nearly 5,500 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,000 of its state and local law enforcement partners. When those results are combined with what was collected in its eight previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in over 4.8 million pounds — more than 2,400 tons — of pills.
It’s not safe to flush unused medicines down the toilet or throw them in the trash. Both methods pose safety and health hazards. Medicines left in home cabinets are highly susceptible to misuse, abuse and diversion.
In the United States, rates of prescription drug abuse, accidental poisonings and overdoses are alarmingly high. Studies show a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including the home medicine cabinet.
For more information, visit http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/index.html, or contact Frontier Health Prevention Services at 888-443-1804, [email protected]
The Southwest Virginia event is sponsored by Concerned About Our Community Coalition, Norton/Wise County Coalition for Substance Abuse Prevention & Treatment, Concerned Citizens for Lee County Coalition, Appalachian Substance Abuse Coalition for Prevention & Treatment, Southwest Virginia Medical Reserve Corps, Virginia Department of Health LENOWISCO, Frontier Health, Planning District One Behavioral Health Services, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Wellmont Residency Program, Coeburn Police Department, Pennington Gap Police Department, Weber City Police Department, City of Norton Police Department, Town of Big Stone Gap Police Department, Town of Wise Police Department, Scott County Sheriff’s Office, Walmart and Food City – KVAT Foods.