October 25, 2013

Manchin Urges West Virginians To Participate in National Drug Take Back Day

Seventh National Drug Take Back Day is an opportunity for all West Virginians to help reduce the risk of prescription drug abuse and increase awareness of critical public health epidemic

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) encouraged West Virginians to participate in the seventh National Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, October 26, 2013 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 more than 130 locations around the state with no questions asked. 

“Prescription drug abuse in our state and our nation has reached a crisis point, and ignoring the problem is simply unacceptable,” Senator Manchin said. “Local, state and federal leaders must continue to combine their efforts and devise commonsense solutions to put an end to this horrific epidemic. Drug Take Back Day is an opportunity to bring neighbors and families together to work toward fighting against drug abuse. These events not only help combat drug abuse by providing an opportunity to safely dispose of these medications, but they spread awareness of this critical issue. Let’s continue to work together so that West Virginia and our beautiful country can have strong, drug-free communities.”

To view a full list of drop-off site locations, 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 recently reintroduced the 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. An expert advisory panel to the FDA has already voted 19-10 in favor of re-classifying hydrocodone painkillers as a Schedule II controlled substance.

• 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.

To view a fact sheet on the American epidemic of prescription drug abuse, specifically drugs containing hydrocodone, please click here.