Deputy Sonja Porter discussed the program this week with members of the PIECES coalition and said it should be up and running soon.
In recent years, Logan County has become ground zero for a drug epidemic caused by easy access to prescription only pain pills such as xanax, oxycontin, loratab, hydrocodone and other substances such as methadone and suboxone. All are easily obtained in the region by addicts through legal but often sleazy means and wind up finding their way onto the streets where they have caused many problems. The federal government has declared Logan County a High Drug Activity Area because of the pill epidemic.
PIECES has worked on drug prevention and awareness programs and in addition to making numerous arrests, the Logan County Sheriff's Department has also done other things to deal with the issue including it's own new program making drug testing kits for parents available free of charge.
The Take-Back disposal program, which initiated with PIECES members is another step to hopefully make the public aware of the problems pain pills are causing in our area.
Porter said the Take Back program will be for prescription pain pills, not what is commonly referred to as "street drugs," and that the program "should be up and running in about 60 days" at the recent March meeting of PIECES.
"We have been trying to get this program ready and operational at some time," Porter said.
Locations will be chosen in Logan, Man and Chapmanville and an armed law enforcement officer will be on hand to collect old prescription drugs which will be properly disposed of by the DEA. Porter noted that there are some environmental concerns with some of the drugs.
As for marijuana, crack and other street drugs, Porter said her department "may be able to work something out for disposal at a later time."
Porter also discussed other concerns about prescription drugs.
The pills have lead to robberies and home invasions by addicts seeking them as well as a DUI epidemic note local police officers who say many DUI arrests and shoplifting busts come down on defendants who are under the influence of narcotic pain pills when arrested. Many elderly residents fear being targeted by criminals for the contents of their medicine cabinets.