For the first time, Mason County residents will have three locations to choose from to properly dispose of their unused or expired prescription medicines when Drug Take Back Day occurs on Oct. 26.
Mason County Sheriff Greg Powers said his department will once again have two locations where the medicines can be dropped, the New Haven Fire Station and the parking lot on Fifth Street in Point Pleasant, next to the county courthouse.
A new location this year will be Mason Walmart, where the store and the Mason Police Department will team up to offer the third drop off point, according to Chief Colton McKinney. All locations will be accepting the drugs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Drug Take Back Day is a national event, offered twice a year in April and October, and is sponsored by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). It is a safe and anonymous way to dispose of unwanted medicines. This will be the 18th opportunity in nine years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding homes of potentially dangerous drugs.
Last fall, Americans turned in nearly 469 tons (more than 937,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at nearly 6,300 sites operated by the DEA and almost 5,000 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 17 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in more than 11.8 million pounds of pills. Sites cannot accept liquids, needles or sharps, only pills or patches.
The initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that remain in home cabinets are highly susceptible to misuse and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows year after year that the majority of misused and abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including someone else’s medications being stolen from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods of disposing of unused medicines, including flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash, pose potential safety and health hazards.
(Some of the information for this story was obtained from the websites www.getsmartaboutdrugs.gov)
Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.