KINGSPORT — Sheriff's offices from several Southwest Virginia counties are hoping to keep prescription narcotics out of the wrong hands and curb the growing problem of drug abuse by taking part in this month's National Prescription Drug Take-Back initiative.
Four events, which are all scheduled to take place Oct. 26 from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., will be hosted at separate locations by sheriff's offices in Lee, Scott and Wise counties and the city of Norton Police Department.
Medications that will be accepted include both controlled and non-controlled medicines, as well as all solid dosage product and liquids that are in their original containers.
Illegal narcotics, such as marijuana and methamphetamine, will not be accepted, along with IV fluids and needles.
In Wise County, two collection sites will be set up — one at the Norton Wal-mart and another at the Food City in Big Stone Gap.
Scott County residents will be able to turn in unwanted medications at the Food City location in Weber City, while the Pennington Gap Food City will host the Lee County event.
During the most recent take back event in April, authorities collected 371 tons, or 742,000 lbs, of prescription drugs at 5,800 sites operated by the DEA and law enforcement partners across the nation.
In the six previous take back events, a total of 1,400 tons, or 2.8 million pounds, of prescription drugs were collected.
The most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows prescription drugs to be the most abused drugs by Americans, other than marijuana. The survey showed that 70 percent of those who abuse prescription drugs say they got them from friends or relatives.
Another survey conducted by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, shows that 1 in 9 teenagers are using prescription painkillers to get high.
For more information on the Oct. 26 Take Back, contact Frontier Health at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (888) 443-1804.