MASON COUNTY — Mixed results came out of Mason County’s participation Saturday in the 14th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration, the day aims to provide a safe, convenient and responsible way to dispose of unwanted or expired prescription medicines. Mason County sets up two drop-off points for the event, including one in the parking lot near the courthouse in Point Pleasant, as well as the New Haven Fire Station.
Mason County Sheriff Greg Powers, whose department oversees the local drop-off points, said the prescription drugs turned in during the take back day were down as opposed to prior years. He said a total of three lawn and garden size trash bags were filled by people wanting rid of their unused or outdated medications.
“The weather didn’t help us any,” the sheriff stated. “It was cold and rainy, and a lot of people just didn’t come out.”
But while the haul for the day was lower than normal, the sheriff said he feels it is partly due to the success of the permanent measures being taken by the county to provide ways for residents to rid themselves of the unused drugs.
The sheriff said one large bag of medications was emptied from the permanent drop box, located at the county courthouse. The box is available for anyone to use during regular courthouse business hours. Another measure being widely used locally are the disposal bottles that residents can place their pills in, add water, and the contents inside the bottle render the pills useless.
Even though the drugs gathered Saturday were down, Sheriff Powers said Mason County will continue to participate in the events, which are held in April and October each year. Deputies Ronnie Spencer and Grant Hysell have provided the event law enforcement protection in Point Pleasant and New Haven, respectively, for several years. A host of other volunteers from community organizations also pitch in to make the take back day successful.
Drug Enforcement Administration officials were due to pick up the drugs late Monday for proper disposal, the sheriff said.
Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.