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Sholten Singer/The Herald-Dispatch An officer dumps out unwanted prescription medication at the Ebenezer Medical Outreach/Douglass Center as National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is conducted on Saturday, April 27, 2013, around the Tri-State.

Sholten Singer/The Herald-Dispat

LOGAN -The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 28, at the Fountain Place Walmart.

Logan County Sheriff Sonya M. Dingess Porter and deputies with the Logan County Sheriff's Department will be on hand to dispose of any expired, unwanted and unused medications.

"This is the 14th annual takeback day that we have participated in," Porter said. "We will have our mobile command unit. Once we collect those items, we will transfer them to the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) so that they can be disposed of properly."

Porter said that Logan County, but especially in the Southern Coalfields, has been successful in getting the drugs collected, out of homes and medicine cabinets and disposed of properly.

"That is through efforts in the take back boxes in the Sheriff's Office, in the Town of Man City Hall and in the Chapmanville Police Department," Porter said. "All drop boxes are under camera. We pick those up every quarter and are getting ready to pick them up and take them to be disposed of properly."

Last October, a total of 4,274 law enforcement agencies in the United States, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands took part in the 14th National Take Back Day, according to the DEA.

A total of 5,321 collections and a total of 912,305 pounds, equivalent to 456 tons, of medication was collected.

A total of 63 law enforcement agencies in West Virginia took part in the event. Agencies in West Virginia made 97 collections and collected 5,473 pounds.

Last year, the LCSD took in 315 pounds of medication. Porter said statistics show that in the first year Logan County took in 50 pounds of medication, but since then that figure continues to grow as people become aware of proper disposal.

"Sometimes they come into the Sheriff's Office with bags of stuff where someone has passed away and they don't know what to do with it," Porter said. "Instead of just flushing it and putting it in our waters or leaving it in their cabinets for someone to get and put it on the street. They are taking the extra step to make sure it is out of home and disposed of properly."

Prestera Center Regional Prevention Coordinator Tim White recalled an event two years ago, when he was leading take back efforts at Cabell Huntington Hospital.

"We had a lady pull up and handed us a bag of medication that was dated 1978," White said. "She had held onto this medication for that long."

White, whose father lived with him before passing away after a battle with leukemia, knows the different types of medication that may be prescribed to patients.

"I am glad we have those drop boxes to dispose of this," White said. "If we didn't have those resources, where would all of these pills be? In our homes, pocketbooks, cars, medicine cabinets and within easy access to our kids and grandkids."

The DEA, which schedules two take back events a year, took in a record number of expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs.

Since the fall of 2010, the DEA has taken in nearly 9 million pounds of medication - and that number continues to grow.

Residents may also drop off their medications at the West Virginia State Police Logan Detachment at 735 Riverview Ave., from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 28.

For more information, visit https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/.

Bill Lusk is a news and sports reporter for the Logan Banner and can be reached at 304-896-5198.

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