Pam Dudding-Burch
Contributing writer

There is nothing more frightening than thinking that someone, especially a child, could accidentally take a medication that was intended to be thrown out.

Accidental prescription drug deaths have almost doubled in the last decade, according to federal drug statistics.

On Saturday, October 28, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Craig County Sheriff’s Office, the Craig Prevention Planning Team (CPPT) and the Roanoke Area Youth Substance Abuse Coalition (RAYSAC) held an ‘Rx- Prescription Drug Take Back’ in the parking lot of Market Street Pharmacy and Food Country.

“A total of 56.8 pounds was collected,” Sheriff Trevor Craddock shared. “The Rx Drug Take Back resulted in unneeded and unwanted medication from Craig County being collected and safely destroyed,” J.D. Carlin, Prevention Specialist of Prevention Services with Blue Ridge Behavioral Healthcare and a member of the CPPT, said. “For a community of 5,000, that is a fantastic amount.”

“I think they had a very successful event,” Stacey Fisher, owner of Market Street Pharmacy, shared. “It is awesome that the Sheriff’s office and RAYSAC (Roanoke Area Youth Substance Abuse Coalition) makes sure that we can have this event in Craig twice a year.”

It was shared that the feedback from the citizens was “wonderfully positive.” Carlin added, “There is no doubt more people are becoming educated about how to dispose of old medications properly.”

RAYSAC also provides another critical ‘take-back’ avenue for Craig’s community. They supply the Market Street Pharmacy with locked boxes for people’s medications that have been filled and then returned. “It is a great way to dispose of old medicine and clean out those medicine cabinets,” Fisher said.

RAYSAC consists of a group of concerned citizens who strive to keep the youth of the Roanoke and surroundings counties alcohol, tobacco and drug-free. They state that 70 percent of children who abuse prescriptions get them from family and friends. Craddock, Carlin and Fisher all agree that is one of the main reasons they support this event.

“I’m thankful to Sheriff Craddock for making this site happen as well as Stacey Fisher and Mike Bradley at Market Street Pharmacy for hosting the site,” Carlin said. “I’d also like to thank Paul Paradzinski, who spent the entire four hours at the site with us.”

Carlin also sent sincere appreciation to all who helped to get the word out to the community, including The New Castle Record, those who handed out flyers and to Pat Johnston, Dustin Persinger and Michelle Ballard.

For more information about how to properly dispose of prescription drugs, contact 540-981-1427. “Clearing our cabinets and areas of old medications will help to keep our community safer inside the home as well as in our water streams,” several participants said.

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