Highland Drug Take Back Initiative Underway

Allegheny Mountain Radio spoke with Highland County Sheriff Tim Duff about his department’s Drug Take Back Initiative program.

“The week of 22 September, from Monday through Saturday morning, the Highland County Sheriff’s Office is working in conjunction with the DEA for our 2nd annual National Drug Take Back Initiative. This is where my office will receive any over the counter meds, any prescription meds – we are now going so far as to accept any agricultural medications, like LA-200.

‘The intent here is to get the unused and potentially outdated or harmful drugs out of the homeowner’s possession. We do it safely, we do it very anonymously – there is no paperwork – then we take the drugs down to Roanoke to be incinerated.

Duff continued, “Last year, our first year, we took well over 200 lbs of pills down to the DEA, and when you consider that we only have roughly 2,200 people in the county, this was a tremendous success. We are currently sitting on approximately 38 lbs. of pills for this week alone.”

“I’m not permitted to differentiate between the meds – I’m not allowed to log in anything, but being present for the whole collection last year, you do see what’s coming in – I would say it’s roughly 80% outdated prescription meds. The other 20% was a combination of over the counter meds , and we’re getting quite a few agricultural meds.”

Sheriff Duff explained the procedure for turning items into the program.

“There is a box, a receptacle, in my office – you can simply walk in, drop it in. If you cannot make it to my office, you simply call the office, or find one of my deputies or one of my dispatchers. We will come to your home and receive the product, and bring it to my office.”

Sheriff Duff explained that his office could accept drugs at any time, not just this week.

“The Drug Take Back is supposed to be this coming Saturday. The DEA allows each sheriff to modify their pick-up accordingly. I have made it very well known to the DEA that I will take back pills any day of the year, so I am collecting drugs any day of the week, any month of the year. I will then take them down to the DEA on their prescribed date.”

“The phone number for the Highland County Sheriff’s office is (540) 468-2210, or anytime you see one of my deputies or myself out on patrol, just flag us down, tell us what your intent is, and we will either come to your home to get the drugs, or we will ensure that there is a deputy there to receive them at the office.”

Story By

Scott Smith

Scott Smith is the General Manager for Allegheny Mountain Radio and Station Coordinator and News Reporter for WVLS. Scott’s family has deep roots in Highland County. While he did not grow up here, he spent as much time as possible on the family farm, and eventually moved to Highland to continue the tradition, which he still pursues with his cousin. Unfortunately, farming doesn’t pay all the bills, so he has previously taken other jobs to support his farming hobby, including pressman/writer for The Recorder, and Ag Projects Coordinator for The Highland Center. He lives in Hightown with wife Michelle and son Ethan. In his spare time, he wishes he had more spare time, especially to ride his prized Harley-Davidson motorcycle. scott@amrmail.org

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