The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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April 27, 2014

Beckley police working to keep unwanted meds off the streets

Drug Take-Back Day

Is your medicine cabinet too full?

What do you do with those extra prescriptions you’ve been holding on to for months, or years?

Don’t flush them!

According to recent Environmental Protection Agency studies, we’re finding traces of medications in our water supplies because of flushed medications.

You could bring them to a Drug Take-Back Day like the one that took place Saturday in Beckley. There were drop-off locations at the Raleigh County Commission on Aging, State Police Headquarters, and the Kroger on Harper Road.

“We’re just giving the public the opportunity to drop off any unused medications whether it’d be prescription or other,” Beckley Police Chief Lonnie Christian said. “It keeps them from just keeping it at their house where it may pose a danger or maybe encourage someone to try to come in and get some medication.

“It could keep teens or children from taking that medication. Sometimes people change prescriptions and they’re stuck with that medication. This is a good opportunity to dispose of that medication properly.”

District Attorney Booth Goodwin told people at an anti-drug event April 8 in Hinton that the first pills taken to get high don’t typically come from a dealer or a street corner. He said most teens get their first hit of prescription drugs right from the medicine cabinet.

Christian said the Drug Enforcement Agency sponsors these drug take-back events.

“They sponsor sites all over the state, and local officers from across the state will man those sites,” he said. “We collect the medication and take it to a drop-off point.

“We normally get a very large community response. Right now we have 10 large garbage bags.”

An officer at the State Police Headquarters drop-off site said they’d already filled three 30-gallon trash bags with medications people had dropped off.

“With these drop-offs, there are no questions asked,” Trooper 1st Class L.W. Price said. “We just let people come in and dump into a bucket.

“We don’t go through anything. It just gets bagged up and secured. We don’t check to see what type of pills it is or anything like that.”

Officers said these drug take-backs are typically only done twice a year. The next one will be some time in October, but until then, you can drop off any unwanted medications at the Raleigh County Sheriff’s Office.

— E-mail: cneff@register-herald.com

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