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A chance to make a real difference

It’s no doubt most of us have old and unused prescription medication stored somewhere in our homes. While the medication may have been prescribed properly to assist us with a medical condition at one time, they do have their own dangers if they are used for the wrong reasons.

According to a 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 9.7 million people misused prescription pain relievers, 4.9 million misused prescription stimulants and 5.9 million misused prescription tranquilizers or sedatives that year.

A majority of those misused drugs were obtained from family and friends, sometimes without their knowledge.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, along with local and state law enforcement, have been working for years to address such issues which often lead to drug addiction.

This Saturday has been designated as National Drug Take-Back Day. On that day, residents across the country are encouraged to gather any of their unused prescription medication and drop them off at a local collection site for proper disposal.

A list of collection sites is available online, with the Brooke County Sheriff’s Department collecting at the county courthouse and the Wintersville Police Department at Value Leader Pharmacy.

If you are unable to have medications ready for Saturday, many of our local law enforcement agencies maintain collection boxes throughout the year. Simply call them to see if you can make arrangements.

It might seem like a minor issue, but the effort has seen results. In 2020, the 19th year for the Drug Take Back, 4,587 collection sites were operated, with close to 500 tons of prescription medication dropped off. That’s medication that otherwise might have found its way into the wrong hands.

We all have an opportunity, this week, to do our part to fight back against prescription drug misuse and addiction, and, possibly, to help save some lives in the process.

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