Drug return slated

Are unused or expired prescription medications clogging up your medicine cabinet?

Clear out the clutter of pills Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., when the Drug Enforcement Administration is scheduled to stage a National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. This is an environmentally responsible means for those who missed previous events – or who have subsequently accumulated unwanted, unused prescription drugs – to safely dispose of those medications.

In the five previous Take-Back events, the DEA, in conjunction with county, state and tribal law enforcement partners, have collected more than 2 million pounds (1,018 tons) of prescription medications.

To further the effort this year, a mobile command unit will be erected in the parking lot across from the Wees Annex of the Randolph County Courthouse on Randolph Avenue in Elkins on Saturday, Randolph County Sheriff Mark Brady said.

“The Randolph County Sheriff’s Office encourages all residents to look in their medicine cabinets and look around their homes and bring those medications to the drug take-back center in Randolph County,” Brady said Wednesday.

Doing so eliminates the possibility of prescription drugs winding up in the hands of children or minors, the sheriff said – not to mention the fact that outdated medications may no longer be safe for ingestion.

“The sheriff’s office has always cooperated in this event to help the citizens of Randolph County dispose of any prescription drugs that are not being used to get them out of home and off the streets, where they may be misused by others,” Brady said.

Amanda Smith, pharmacy director of Davis Health System, agreed that prescription drug collection is an important service.

“Safety is a big issue associated with the take-back event,” Smith said. “If you have unused medicines in your home, and others around you know, it makes for a potentially unsafe situation. Someone could break into your home to take those medicines. Also, old and expired medicines could be used by other family members they were not intended for. That person could be allergic to the medicine, or it may have adverse effects with other medicines they take.”

Smith said the environment is another consideration with these medicines.

“The old recommendation was that old or expired medicines be flushed down the toilet or down the sink,” Smith said. “The DEA has completely taken that recommendation back. We do not want to further pollute our water ways and fish. That’s why consumers have the opportunity to bring these drugs back for safe and environmentally friendly disposal during take-back days.”