Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, Division of Protective Services Partner in Drug Take-Back Inititative
CHARLESTON – Attorney General Patrick Morrisey today announced that the Office of the Attorney General will partner with the Division of Protective Services to participate in the sixth National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 27 at the West Virginia Capitol.
The federal Drug Enforcement Administration spearheads the Drug Take-Back Day, which was initially launched in 2010. Local and state law enforcement agencies collect unused medication and dispose of it in a safe way that prevents potential abuse and protects the environment.
“I would encourage everyone to take a look through their medicine cabinet and clean out any unused, unwanted or expired prescriptions and bring them to the event,” Morrisey said. “Even if the medicine is not one that typically is ‘abused,’ it is critical that pills, liquid and other forms of prescriptions are disposed of properly. Medicine that is thrown into the trash can be found by people looking to abuse drugs, and flushing it down the toilet can damage the environment.”
According to the DEA, pharmaceutical drugs can be just as dangerous as street drugs when taken without a prescription or a doctor’s supervision, and can lead to accidental poisoning, overdose and abuse. Non-medical use of prescription drugs ranks as the second most common form of drug abuse in America, behind marijuana.
Prescription drug abuse is a significant problem in West Virginia and the nation. Between 1990 and 2008, the most recent year available, the rate of death from prescription drug overdose has more than tripled, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
According to the 2011 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), more than six million Americans abuse prescription drugs. That same study revealed more than 70 percent of people abusing prescription pain relievers obtained them through friends or relatives, a statistic that includes raiding the family medicine cabinet.
“Everyone needs to work together to rid our communities of medicine we no longer need in the right way so it doesn’t end up in the wrong hands,” Morrisey said.