Mercer County residents dispose of unwanted medications

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People who wanted to dispose of their old medications safely had the opportunity to do so in Mercer County.

On Saturday October 27, 2018,  the Drug Enforcement Agency hosted their Drug Take Back Day at the Mercer County Courthouse. Twice every year in Princeton, the DEA sponsors a way for the public to safely dispose of their unwanted prescription medications. According to Mercer County Chief Deputy, Joe Parks, this is part of a nationwide effort to keep opioids off the streets. 

“The dangers that we see with this is, they get stolen from homes in burglaries or younger family members and they are abused,” Parks said.

As opioid addiction continues to be a huge problem in our nation, this is a good way to highlight just how dangerous these medications can be. 

Several agencies came together to support this event, one being the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Assistant secretary for USDA’s Rural Development, Anne Hazlett, said they just do not want these medications being misused.

“Well often times I think the challenge with opioids is that they often, if there is a legitimate prescription and they don’t realize that these are highly addictive substances that can lead them on a path to addiction,” Hazlett said.

Not only does Drug take Back help in eliminating crime and abuse, it also helps with the environment. 

“If you dump them in the trash or dump them in the water table, the water table gets polluted with some of the stuff that’s in the narcotics or some of the stuff that’s in prescription pills,” Parks explained.

These medications can be collected year round. To find prescription drug disposal locations you can visit https://ago.wv.gov/consumerprotection/Fighting%20Substance%20Abuse/Pages/Prescription-Drug-Disposal-Locations.aspx. They will not accept liquids, needles or controlled substances. 

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