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Southwest Virginians asked to turn in unused medications

Published On: Oct 07 2013 07:35:49 PM CDT
Updated On: Oct 07 2013 10:55:52 AM CDT
Prescription drugs
NORTON, Va. -

To help combat the growing problem of prescription drug abuse in Southwest Virginia, local groups are joining the Drug Enforcement Administration to host the National Prescription Drug Take-Back.

Turn in your unused or expired medications for safe disposal; do your part to fight prescription drug abuse.

Residents can go to one of four locations in Wise, Scott, Lee counties and the city of Norton from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, October 26, 2013.

Medications that are accepted are controlled, non-controlled and over the counter medications and all solid dosage product and liquids (kept in original container.)

These will not be accepted: illicit substances such as marijuana and methamphetamine, IV fluids, sharps/needles.

Last April, Americans turned in 371 tons (over 742,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at over 5,800 sites operated by the DEA and its thousands of state and local law enforcement partners.  In its six previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners took in over 2.8 million pounds—more than 1,400 tons—of pills. 

The event is sponsored by Concerned About Our Community Coalition, Norton/Wise County Coalition for Substance Abuse Prevention & Treatment, Frontier Health, Planning District One Behavioral Health Services, City of Norton Police Department,  Lee County Sheriff’s Office, Weber City Police Department, Town of Big Stone Gap Police Department, Appalachian Substance Abuse Coalition for Prevention and Treatment, Southwest Virginia Medical Reserve Corps, Wellmont Residency Program, Virginia Department of Health, Drug Enforcement Association, Wal-Mart and Food City.

In Wise County, visit Wal-Mart in Norton and Food City in Big Stone Gap. In Lee County, visit Food City in Pennington Gap and in Scott County visit Food City in Weber City.

The most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows prescription medicines to be the most abused drugs by Americans, other than marijuana, and found that 70 percent of people who abuse prescription pain relievers say they got them from friends or relatives.

A recent study on drug use by teens, by the Partnership for a Drug Free America, found that one in nine children are abusing prescription pain relievers to get high.

For more information, call Frontier Health Prevention Services at 888-443-1804 or email prevention@frontierhealth.org.