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DEA to hold Take Back Day for prescription medications

Staff report

The Herald-Dispatch

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration will host its 14th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28, at more than 5,000 locations nationwide, including several in the Tri-State area.

The day offers the public a chance to dispose of any unused or outdated medications safely, no questions asked, from Alka-Seltzer to OxyContin.

The DEA lists five participating locations locally for Saturday:

— West Virginia State Police Huntington Detachment, 3339 U.S. 60 East, Huntington.

— Ceredo Police Department, 766 B St., Ceredo.

— Milton Volunteer Fire Department, 341 E. Main St., Milton.

— Ashland Police Department, 201 17th St., Ashland.

— West Virginia State Police Hamlin Detachment, 8021 Court Ave., Hamlin.

The Huntington and Milton police departments have permanent prescription drug disposal boxes, so Cabell County residents do not have to wait for specified take-back days to properly dispose of medications.

Last October, Americans turned in 366 tons (more than 730,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at almost 5,200 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,000 of its state and local law enforcement partners. The West Virginia State Police Huntington Detachment alone filled more than six 40-gallon trash bags of medicine in October.

The latest National Prescription Drug Take Back Day hosted in April set a record, collecting 900,386 pounds (450 tons) nationwide. To date, the events have collected 8,103,363 pounds (4,052 tons) of prescription drugs since the first National Prescription Drug Take Back Day in September 2010.

According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.4 million Americans age 12 and over – 2.4 percent of the population – abuse prescription drugs, more than abuse cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens and methamphetamine combined. Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of injury-related death in the United States, eclipsing deaths from motor vehicle crashes or firearms.

Of the nation’s current heroin users, 80 percent began their opioid addiction using prescription drugs, according to statistics from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration. The majority of prescription drug abusers report that they obtain their drugs from friends and family, including from the home medicine cabinet.

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