April 23, 2014

Manchin Urges West Virginians to Participate in 8th National Drug Take Back Day

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) today encouraged West Virginians to participate in the eighth National Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, April 26, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. During the event, local law enforcement officials will anonymously collect expired, unused or unwanted prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications at locations around the state with no questions asked. 

“By participating in opportunities like Drug Take Back Day, which have had tremendous success in our state during the past several years, we are not only helping to combat drug abuse, but we are also spreading awareness of this critical issue that affects so many West Virginians and Americans,” Senator Manchin said. “In order to build strong, drug-free communities, we need to continue working together as a community. I urge all West Virginians from every corner of the state to locate their nearest drop-off location and clean out their medicine cabinets this Saturday.”

To view a full list of drop-off site locations, please click here.


Senator Manchin has fought for many legislative initiatives to reduce the prevalence of drug abuse in West Virginia and across the nation, including:

 Hydrocodone Rescheduling: Senator Manchin introduced bipartisan, bicameral legislation to combat prescription drug abuse by tightening restrictions on some of the most powerful, addictive narcotics on the market. The “Safe Prescribing Act of 2013” would reclassify hydrocodone painkillers, such as Vicodin and Lortab, from a Schedule III to a Schedule II controlled substance. The reclassification would accurately reflect the drugs’ high potential for addiction and abuse. In February, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced it would begin the reclassification process of hydrocodone products.

• Banning Zohydro: Senator Manchin sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to overturn the Federal Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval of the powerful and highly addictive opioid drug, Zohydro Extended Release (ER). Senator Manchin expressed his concerns with the FDA’s approval process given that the FDA’s own expert advisory panel voted against the approval of the painkiller by a vote of 11-2 and health experts repeatedly warned of the its potential to increase prescription drug abuse. In March, Senator Manchin introduced legislation to ban the dangerous painkiller from the market.

• Servicemembers and Veterans Prescription Drug Safety Act of 2013: Senator Manchin sponsored legislation that would provide for a prescription drug take back program for veterans and members of the Armed Forces. Drug take programs allow for the safe and effective collection and disposal of unwanted and unnecessary prescription drugs and would help to combat the challenge posed by prescription drug misuse and abuse in our military and veteran populations.

• Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act: Senator Manchin cosponsored Senator Rockefeller’s legislation that requires health care professionals to attend new safe pain management training courses, promotes consumer and patient education about safe disposal and treatment of prescription drugs, and supports state Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs.

• Expanding High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA): The Office of National Drug Control Policy’s High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas Program provides funds to local law enforcement agencies located in counties in drug-trafficking regions. There are 11 counties in West Virginia currently designated as HIDTAs, and Senator Manchin is working with regional authorities to get more areas accepted into the program.

• Funding for the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS): Senator Manchin has supported funding for COPS programs to provide local police departments with federal grant money. The program helps to advance community policing in many areas where funding is needed to help combat drug abuse.

• Funding for Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grants (Byrne JAG): Senator Manchin supports funding for the Byrne JAG program, which provides state and local governments with critical resources necessary to support various law enforcement efforts and drug treatment initiatives.

• Support for Drug Free Communities: Senator Manchin has supported funding for Drug Free Communities, which provides grants to community-based coalitions that organize to prevent substance abuse in youth.

• Support for National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month: Senator Manchin is a cosponsor of S.Res.261, which designated October 2011 as National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month. The resolution passed the Senate on September 23, 2011.