MASON COUNTY — Mason County agencies will once again join forces for the annual Drug Take-Back Day set for Saturday, Sept. 26, in two locations.
Brittni Kaylor, Mason County Prevention Coalition coordinator, said the event will be 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the New Haven Fire Station, as well as the parking lot next to the Mason County Courthouse on Fifth Street in Point Pleasant.
Drug Take-Back Day is a national initiative by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Drug Enforcement Administration aimed at providing a safe, convenient and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications.
In Mason County, the prevention coalition, Mason County Health Department, Mason County Sheriff’s Department and several volunteers coordinate the event. Kaylor said it provides residents with a way to turn in their unused or expired medications with no questions asked.
Kaylor said she, New Haven Recorder Roberta Hysell, and a New Haven police officer will be among those stationed at the Bend Area event. In Point Pleasant, Diana Riddle, nurse administrator for the health department, prevention coalition members, and a representative from the sheriff’s department will be present.
“We have to have law enforcement with us since we are collecting prescription drugs,” Kaylor said.
This is the third year for the event in New Haven, and even longer for the Point Pleasant location. Riddle said all years in both locations have been successful, with around 100 pounds of medications collected each year.
Residents with outdated or unwanted drugs do not have to wait for the Drug Take-Back Day to properly dispose of them, however.
Kaylor said a permanent drug drop-box is located inside the entrance of the Mason County Courthouse. It is accessible during regular courthouse business hours. So far, about 25 pounds of medications have been collected in the drop-box.
“The drop-box at the courthouse is successful, but we have no way to determine how many people use it,” Riddle said. “They place medications — sometimes in bottles and sometimes not — into plastic bags. We do not look at the name of the patient, just the type of drug discarded.”
Earlier this year, the prevention coalition also began distributing personal drug disposal systems, consisting of a 17-ounce bottle where unwanted pills can be placed. Once full, a packet of included powder is placed in the bottle, along with water. After shaking, the pills turn into a slime-like substance. The entire bottle can then safely be tossed into the trash.
For more information on the local Drug Take-Back Day, contact Kaylor or Riddle at 304-675-3050.
Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing who lives in Mason County.