DEA Take Back Sites Collect More Than 5K Pounds of Pills in W.Va.

CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced West Virginians turned in nearly three tons of pills during this spring’s National Drug Take Back Day.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration reports approximately 5,612 pounds of prescription pills were collected at 70 collection locations across the state.

“Our office is proud to participate in this national effort to keep unwanted prescription medications out of the wrong hands,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “This initiative makes our communities safer and aids in our fight against opioid abuse in West Virginia.”

The state total included prescription meds collected at the State Capitol by the Attorney General’s Office, which has participated in Drug Take Back Day each year since 2013 in coordination with Capitol Police.

Representatives from Attorney General Morrisey’s office also partnered with the Granville Police Department; the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office; the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office and Community Connections Inc.; the Tyler County Sheriff’s Office, and the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office.

Nationwide, a total 332 tons were collected in around 4,955 sites during the Take Back Day in April, according to the DEA. The program has collected 8,650 tons since its inception in 2010—West Virginia has collected a little more than 62 tons since that time.

The DEA spearheads Drug Take Back Day. During the event, local and state law enforcement agencies collect unused medication and responsibly dispose of it. The DEA typically hosts two prescription drug Take Back days per year—one in the spring and one in the fall.

The Attorney General Public Health Trust previously awarded prescription drug incinerators to law enforcement agencies across the state. The incinerators are used to destroy unwanted/expired pills and are shared among law enforcement agencies.

The incinerators were awarded through the Dispose Responsibly of Prescriptions (DRoP) initiative, which also distributed drug disposal drop boxes throughout the state.