PARKERSBURG - More than 600 pounds of expired and unused prescription and over-the-counter drugs were collected Saturday during a "Drug Take-back Day" in Wood County.
Wood County Sheriff Jeff Sandy said the seven Wood County drop-off locations collected more Saturday than the last collection day in October.
"This year we collected 649 pounds of drugs, that's 200 pounds more than last year," he said.
Photo by Jeffrey Saulton
A look at some of the drugs collected Saturday at Parkersburg City Park.
Sandy said the mix of prescription and over-the-counter drugs will be turned over to a Drug Enforcement Agency agent for disposal.
"There is a DEA agent here in Wood County and he will take them to a hospital in Huntington." he said. "They will be incinerated in a combustion chamber that does not allow anything to get into the air - it makes them into an ash."
Sandy said Saturday's collection was the third in Wood County and could be the last.
At A Glance
More than 600 pounds of expired and unused prescription and over-the-counter drugs were collected Saturday in the drug take-back day in Wood County.
Wood County Sheriff Jeff Sandy said the total was 200 pounds more than last October's collection.
Sandy said the collected drugs were to be taken to a hospital in Huntington to be incinerated.
"This may be the last, depending on federal funding," he said.
"However, the Wood County Sheriff's Office has been approved by the DEA to collect unused drugs 365 days a year," Sandy said. "If they can't make it here (Saturday), they can take them to the Wood County Sheriff's Office."
Sandy said individuals can call Capt. Gary Parsons at 304-424-1945 to set up an appointment.
In recent years, awareness has been raised about the proper disposal of expired or unused drugs, he said.
"Today I spoke with a person who is involved with a hospice and that person said they are still placing their unused drugs in kitty litter and putting it in the trash going into the landfill," he said. "We want to avoid that because eventually that's going to get into the water supply and we don't want people to flush them down the toilet for the same reason. We have to care for our environment," Sandy said.
The Washington County Sheriff's Office also has a receptacle at its Fourth Street office in Marietta where drugs can be dropped off at any time. Washington County also held a "Drug Take-Back Day" on Saturday with several sites throughout the county.
Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks said Saturday's program went very well, with about 248 pounds collected as six locations. That was a big increase from the last dropoff held six months ago when only 17 pounds were collected in Washington County, but Mincks thought inclement weather on that day might have kept collections down.
"Things went very well for us (today)," he said.