The fourth national prescription drug take-back day is set for Saturday in communities throughout the area.
The Drug Enforcement Administration began the national program as a safe way to dispose of expired prescription medicine. Nearly 500 tons of unwanted prescription medicine was turned in during the past three years across the country. The amount was 9,258 pounds in West Virginia alone last year.
The program is a great way for residents to look into medicine cabinets throughout the house, and especially their parents' houses, and collect old bottles of prescription medicine.
Locally, drugs will be accepted in Washington County at the Belpre Senior Center, the corner of Second and Putnam Streets in Marietta, White Oak Pharmacy in Barlow, Fort Frye High School, Buckeye Hills Area Agency on Aging, the Devola Medical Center and in Williamstown, at the Williamstown Fire Department.
Flushing the drugs down the toilet or placing in the garbage to be taken to a landfill is not environmentally safe.
Many people hold onto bottles of expired prescription medicine believing they can self-medicate if the symptoms return in the future. That can be extremely dangerous because the older medications may drastically interact with current prescriptions.
Parents with children in the home should take a close look at what drugs are around the house.
Many people have been prescribed painkillers for a bad back or other problems. Those painkillers in the house can be a temptation for illicit drug use by teenagers. There are actually parties where kids throw prescription medicine into a bowl and the drugs are consumed.
Some people may be hesitant to take prescription drugs to a police agency but there is nothing to worry about.
No questions will be asked.
It is better to have the prescription drugs safely disposed than sitting around the house.
The amount of unwanted prescription medicine turned in during previous drug collections speaks volumes about the need for such a program.