Many Americans are not aware that medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to misuse and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Recent news headlines report that West Virginia is ranked number one in the nation for drug overdose deaths. One overdose and one death is one too many. In our region, five percent of the population misuse prescription medications. The good news is that means 95 percent of the people are not abusing these drugs.
Cheryl Jonese, prevention specialist and coordinator with Prevention Without Borders, reports that “Greenbrier County has a very effective health resource – the Greenbrier County Health Alliance, that networks with health and social service and substance abuse prevention agencies, law enforcement, faith based groups, the board of education and others to raise awareness and promote health based initiatives throughout the county.”
Studies show that many abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends. In addition, most Americans do not know how to properly dispose of their unused, unwanted medicine, often flushing it down the toilet or throwing it away. Both disposal methods are potential safety and health hazards.
Prescription Drug Take Back days are a great opportunity for folks to help reduce the threat of misuse and abuse. Take this opportunity to stop by the Greenbrier County Courthouse or the State Police detachment in Lewisburg between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Sept. 26 to drop off your medications.