W.Va. Attorney General’s Office to Sponsor National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day Collection Site at Capitol on Oct. 26
CHARLESTON – Attorney General Patrick Morrisey today announced that the Office of the Attorney General will participate in the seventh National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26 near the East Rotunda on the California Street side of the West Virginia Capitol.
“We are happy to join in this endeavor once again to help rid our state and communities of unwanted prescriptions, as well as unused over-the-counter medication,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “We were able to collect 125 pounds of medicine at the Capitol location during the sixth National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day in April; we hope to collect even more at this event.”
Prescription drug abuse is a significant problem in West Virginia and the nation. A recent report by the Trust for America’s Health said West Virginia had the highest drug overdose mortality rate in the nation, at nearly 29 overdose deaths per 100,000 people. The report said the overdose death rate in the state climbed by 605 percent between 1999 and 2010.
Earlier this year, Morrisey established an internal task force within the Attorney General’s Office to combat substance abuse in West Virginia. Operating through the Office’s Consumer Protection Division, the task force currently is developing strategies to tackle substance abuse from a supply and demand perspective.
The federal Drug Enforcement Administration spearheads the Drug Take-Back Day, which was initially launched in 2010. During the event, 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 medications 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 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.
To find a Prescription Drug Take-Back collection site in your community, click here