By CHAD ABSHIRE
Two state congressmen are encouraging citizens of the West Virginia to participate in today’s National Drug Take Back Day. sponsored by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.
The STOP Coalition and the Mingo County Sheriff’s Department are conduction the local Drug Take Back Day today from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Williamson State Police Detachment, 200 East Second Ave. Over-the-counter and prescription medications can be disposed of safely and anonymously. For more information call (304) 664-3986 or visit www.drugfreemingo.org.
U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.), in remarks to his colleagues on Thursday, urged all southern West Virginians to participate.
“Medicine cabinets across southern West Virginia are ground zero for families to take back their loved ones and their communities,” Rahall, who is a senior member of the House of Representatives Prescription Drug Abuse Caucus, said. “It boggles the mind when we read the final totals of Drug Take Back Day and that our homes are storing these ticking time bombs.”
Rahall’s action followed the DEA’s recent release “of a sobering statistic from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health that more than 70 percent of people who abuse prescription pain relievers obtain the drugs from friends or relatives,” a release from his office stated.
“A resounding and very clear message at the nation’s first National Summit on Prescription Drug Abuse was made: one of the most cost effective, long-term measures we can take to turn the tide on prescription drug abuse is prevention. That effort starts in our own cabinets and cupboards,” Rahall said.
U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) also encouraged West Virginians to turn in any expired, unused or unwanted prescription drugs to locations across the state today in participation in the fourth National Drug Take Back Day.
“Drug abuse is devastating to communities across West Virginia, whether it’s preventing employers from being able to hire or tearing families apart,” Manchin said. “Participating in opportunities like Drug Take Back Day brings folks together from all sides of this epidemic problem—treatment, education, law enforcement, and prevention—to work towards fighting against drug abuse. These events not only help combat drug abuse by providing an opportunity to safely dispose of these medications, but they spread awareness of this critical issue. It is important to work together so that West Virginia can have strong, drug-free communities.”
“We are traveling a difficult and challenging path to save an entire generation. But, events and action on a national level, like Drug Take Back Day, provide simple and effective solutions in our quest to conquer the problem of prescription drug abuse. Let us act with dispatch and compassion and with an acute understanding of the enormity of the challenge before us. Working in partnership with law enforcement, not as vigilantes or self appointed marshals, Drug Take Back Day is one of the simplest, most effective, prevention measures we have on our side,” Rahall said.
National Drug Take Back Day is sponsored nationwide by the DEA in coordination with state and local law enforcement to provide the public with a no-questions-asked opportunity to turn in expired, unwanted, or unused pharmaceuticals, controlled substances, and other medications that will be safely removed from communities and destroyed. Citizens can anonymously drop off medications with no questions asked.