Flushing old medications is bad for the water supply. Plus, it's not the only disposal option.
Prescription Drug Take-Back Day will take place 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 26 at Elm Grove Pharmacy, 101 E. Bethlehem Blvd.
As part of the nationally-recognized day, the Ohio County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition is collaborating with the DEA, Wheeling Police Department, Cardinal Health and Elm Grove Pharmacy. The public can safely dispose of expired, unwanted or unused medications during the event.
Photo by Rebecca Olsavsky
Wheeling Police Sgt. Gregg McKenzie, also a member of the Ohio County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition, stands next to the prescription drug drop-off box located at the Wheeling Police Department.
Drop-offs are free and anonymous. A police officer, present at the event along with coalition volunteers, will collect prescription and over-the-counter medications. Intra-venous solutions, injectables and needles, however, will not be accepted.
Martha Polinsky, OCSAPC project coordinator, said people can even scratch or peel their names off the disposed bottles if they prefer to do so.
"We've had the last couple of take-back days (at Elm Grove Pharmacy). It's a great location, very central. The pharmacist is really supportive," Polinsky said.
She emphasized how much coalition members enjoy participating in the take-back day. Referencing a focus on prevention, Polinsky described how reducing the supply of old medications will decrease the chance that people can misuse them.
Those who cannot make the event can still dispose of their old medications. The Wheeling Police Department is home to the first drug drop-off box in West Virginia. People can visit the department and ask about the drop-off box at the window. Sgt. Gregg McKenzie, also a coalition member, said there is a steady flow coming in to drop-off spot.
Police departments in Bethlehem and Triadelphia also host boxes.
"That is key to coalition work," said Polinsky about collaboration. "The more partners, the better."
The coalition continues that approach in its others efforts. Currently, OCSAPC seeks two high school interns for summer. The interns, with help from additional participating youth, will organize an annual youth forum. For questions about the take-back event, call 304-233-2045.