Record haul for latest Drug Take-Back in W.Va. - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Record haul for latest Drug Take-Back in W.Va.

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- Federal officials in southern West Virginia say they collected nearly 2 1/2 tons of unwanted and expired drugs during last weekend's Prescription Drug Take-Back day.

U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin and Drug Enforcement Administration supervisory agent Suzan Williamson said the collection set a record at 4,976 pounds of prescription drugs.

West Virginians participated at more than 130 locations around the state.

The previous record was the 4,642 pounds of drugs collected in April.

Williamson says the proper disposal of unwanted and unused drugs helps the DEA and other agencies fight against the epidemic of illegal prescription drug abuse.

A recent report found that West Virginia leads the nation in the rate of fatal drug overdoses, with a rate that's six times higher than it was about a decade ago.

Following is the full news release from Goodwin's office:

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Resident Agent in Charge Suzan Williamson jointly announced today that as a result of the October 26th Prescription Drug Take-Back event, a total of 4,976 pounds of unwanted, unused and expired prescription drugs were collected from citizens and households across West Virginia.  The October 26th collection results surpassed the previous Take-Back record of 4,642 pounds of prescription drugs collected in April 2013.  

U.S. Attorney Goodwin said, "Having back-to-back record totals in the same year is remarkable.  West Virginians have yet again responded overwhelmingly in our ongoing fight against prescription drug abuse. We've worked hard over the past several years to make our Take-Back initiative a success.  My thanks to the DEA, state and local police, and all the West Virginians who made this result possible."

Suzan Williamson, DEA resident agent in charge for West Virginia, said, "When people take unwanted and expired prescriptions out of their homes and dispose of them properly, it immeasurably helps our fight against prescription drug abuse. I commend all of the federal, state and local partners in West Virginia for their assistance, which has made this seventh Take-Back a success." 

The October Take-Back designated more than 130 sites throughout West Virginia, providing citizens with numerous locations to drop off expired, unused and unwanted medications. Nationwide, more than 5,100 sites participated.

In the six previous Take-Back events, the Drug Enforcement Administration, working jointly with other federal, state, and local law enforcement partners have collected more than 2 million pounds (1,409 tons) of prescription medications nationwide.

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