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Safely dispose of prescription medication

September 29, 2012
The Inter-Mountain

We are encouraging local residents to participate in the National Take-Back Initiative, which is taking place throughout the region today. The event provides individuals with the opportunity to safely remove and properly dispose all types of medications.

Expired, over-the-counter, discontinued and pet medications will all be accepted at this anonymous event, according to officials with the U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration, which helps organize this annual initiative.

Locally, the DEA is being joined by the West Virginia Rivers Coalition, Davis Health System, Randolph and Tucker County Family Resource Network, Randolph and Tucker county sheriff's departments, Randolph County Department of Emergency Management and TCdrugfree.

"Until recently, people were advised to flush their old medications down the toilet to dispose of them. Unfortunately, this practice has a negative effect on the environment by directly introducing pharmaceutical compounds into our waterways. It was not until recently that the Office of National Drug Control Policy changed these guidelines advising consumers to take their medication to a community take-back program," the DEA reports.

The following is a list of local take-back events:

However, if you are unable to make one of today's collection sites, there's still an opportunity to "properly dispose of non-controlled (no narcotics, mood altering medications, or sleep aids) medications through an on-going daily pharmaceutical collection program," officials said. West Virginia Rivers Coalition operates the West Virginia Consumer Drug Return Partnership, an on going take-back program throughout the Mountain State.

Regionally, the coalition partners with Davis Health System to operate three ongoing take-back collection centers: Health Center Pharmacy, 909 Gorman Ave., Elkins; Community Care Pharmacy, 307 Main St., Parsons; and Tygart Valley Pharmacy, Valley Health Care Building, Mill Creek.

The coalition instructs that consumers may bring their unwanted medication in during regular pharmacy hours. Those with questions about this free program are directed to call the coalition at 304-637-7201 or email Kathleen Tyner at Information also is available online at

These events not only help to protect our environment, but they also keep unwanted or unused prescription drugs from potentially being sold illegally in our neighborhoods. We hope local residents will take advantage of this great community service.

Source: Information for today's editorial was supplied with help from Kathleen Tyner, advocacy and conservation program manager, West Virginia Rivers Coalition.



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