Take Back: Drop off expired or unused prescription drugs

West Virginians are all too familiar with the consequences of legally prescribed drugs falling into the wrong hands. We are in the midst of a substance abuse epidemic that many believe got its start with legally prescribed opioids, and which piggy-backed on the methamphetamine scourge that led to registries and required prescriptions for some medications … and still has managed to rear its ugly head once again.

So what do you do if you have been legally prescribed a drug for legitimate medical reasons, and now find yourself with some left over in your medicine cabinet? For some, the temptation for family members, guests or even those who might break in to steal them is too great to risk.

But Saturday is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., expired, unused or unneeded prescription drugs can be dropped off at Drug Enforcement Administration-approved sites.

Here in the Mid-Ohio Valley, those sites include: the Lubeck, Vienna, Mineral Wells and Williamstown volunteer fire departments; Parkersburg Detachment of the West Virginia State Police; Belpre Senior Center and the CVS Pharmacy at 2323 Murdoch Ave., Parkersburg. There are many others. For more information on sites near you, call 800-882-9539.

“The common, average citizen needs to be ever vigilant about what’s in their medicine cabinet,” said Matt Baker, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Region III director.

Most reasonable people are. In fact, during the Drug Take Back Day held last fall, 7,532 pounds of prescription drugs were collected in West Virginia, and 45,206 pounds collected in Ohio.

Whether you are thinking about it for the first time or you participated six months ago, check your cabinets, folks. This is a good opportunity to get rid of drugs that aren’t doing you any good, and might do enormous harm to someone else.