According to research West Virginia is the leading state in the country for opioid abuse and addiction.
West Virginia Congressman, David McKinley, said one factor in this ongoing issue is the open access to old and un-needed prescription medications.
“People are breaking into homes to get access to these because they know that more than likely their their medicine cabinet has drugs in it,” said McKinley.
In an effort to help decrease this ongoing issue government officials have teamed up with Walgreens pharmacies bringing a new form of medication disposal to Morgantown.
“We want to celebrate what Walgreens is doing in introducing these reverse machines to be able to get people to dispose of their access drugs,” said McKinley.
Walgreens regional health care director, Rusty Maney, was in attendance for the opening of the new medication disposal kiosk in Morgantown and said this could help many families in the area.
“These opioid medications that were legitimate prescriptions for people with legitimate problems but they didn’t know what to do with them after the problem was gone, and families just need to get the message and know that they have options for getting rid of medications,” said Maney.
Patients can now bring their old or un-needed medication into the pharmacy in Walgreens where they can discreetly get rid of their prescription medications by placing them into the disposal kiosk.
“What they don’t want they don’t want to have needles put in there you can understand that no one wants to be stuck with that so there are some limitations, they don’t want thermometers in there, but legal drugs yeah they’re welcome to put that in and we’ll dispose of them,” said McKinley.
This is the fourth medication disposal unit within the state, and with an estimated 300 tons of prescription medication already disposed Walgreens and Government officials have high hopes of placing these units nationwide.
“We’re trying to push this nationally and find ways our pharmacies can have these facilities on their campus or in their buildings so that people can dispose of the drugs,” explained McKinley. “The whole idea is to just get people off drugs and stay off drugs.”
This medication disposal is now open daily for drop offs during pharmacy hours at the Morgantown Walgreens, which is located at 897 Chestnut Ridge Road.