WILLIAMSON – In an attempt to limit access to prescription drugs, the Williamson and Gilbert Police Departments will participate in the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Initiative on Saturday, Sept. 26 with two locations.
The event, which offers a confidential and safe way to dispose of medications, will have two drop off locations for Mingo County residents. One will be hosted by the Williamson Police Detachment at 108 E. 4th Avenue in Williamson while the other will be held by the Gilbert Police Department at Gilbert City Hall from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Properly disposing of unused, unwanted or expired prescription medication ensures that they are not readily available to our youth. Non-medical prescription drug use rates second highest amongst all youth illicit drug users. Nationally, 10 percent of youth aged 12-25 reported non-medical use of prescription drugs in the last 30 days according to statistics gathered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
Other SAMHSA statistics say that 75 percent of prescription drugs that are abused or misused are not purchased off the street or written by a physician, but are given by, bought from or stolen from a family member or a friend.
Though helpful when properly taken under the supervision of a doctor, prescription medication can be toxic to the environment if flushed down the toilet or thrown away with the trash. In fact, discarded medication is getting into the nation’s waste water treatment plants and getting into drinking water supplies.
Scientists with the United States Geological Society conducted a study of over 130 rivers, streams and other waterways in the U.S. and found antibiotics, anti-depressants, birth control pills, seizure medication, cancer treatments, pain killers, tranquilizers and cholesterol-lowering compounds in over 80 percent of those tested.
Legally, to properly dispose of prescription medication, they must either be destroyed by the owner of the prescription or given to law enforcement for destruction.
The take-back initiative will accept the following materials for destruction: prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, pet medications, tablets/pills/capsules, patches, vitamins, supplements, inhalers, suppositories, homeopathic remedies and liquid medications in leak-proof containers.
The following items cannot be accepted: IV bags, blood or infectious waste, nebulizers, oxygen tanks, mercury thermometers, and needles.
For more information on the DEA’s National Take-Back Initiative, visit www.dea.gov. For more information on the STOP Coalition, call 304-664-3986 or visit www.drugfreemingo.org.