Manchin Announces Launch of Statewide Drug Abuse Prevention Initiative

Mallinckrodt is donating 55,000 drug deactivation pouches to the state – 1,000 to every county

Washington, D.C. – On Tuesday, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin, D-WV,joined elected officials and community leaders at Winfield Middle School, during National Red Ribbon Week to unveil a statewide drug prevention initiative. Mallinckrodt has pledged to donate 55,000 drug deactivation pouches to the state to ensure proper disposal of unused or outdated prescription medications. Each of the 55 counties will receive 1,000 pouches for their residents.
“Prescription drug abuse has devastating effects on countless families across our nation,” Manchin said. “I have made a promise to the people of West Virginia and to the American people that I will do everything I can to beat this epidemic and to help those in recovery return to the lives they once enjoyed, drug-free. An important part of keeping prescription drugs out of the wrong hands is proper drug disposal, and that is what we hope to accomplish through this statewide initiative.”
Manchin’s office will work with each county sheriff’s office and local law enforcement, drug prevention coalitions, and senior centers in distributing the drug deactivation pouches to help keep prescription drugs off the streets.
“The sheriffs in West Virginia are very happy to be able to help get prescription drugs off the street and prevent their abuse by any means possible,” Executive Director of the West Virginia Sheriffs’ Association Rodney Miller said. “This project lets people destroy unused or unwanted drugs in a safe manner before they can get in the hands of potential abusers or children who could accidently consume them. West Virginia’s Sheriffs thank Sen. Manchin for his efforts in fighting our drug abuse problems in our state.”
The drug deactivation pouches were purchased and donated by Mallinckrodt, a global specialty pharmaceutical company. The user-friendly, pouch-based systems deactivate prescription drugs and render chemical compounds safe for landfills. After placing pills in the specially formulated pouch and adding regular tap water, it can be sealed and thrown away with the household trash, making the disposal process convenient for all.
“The Bureau of Senior Services welcomes the opportunity to be a part of this statewide program to help fight drug abuse in West Virginia,” Commissioner of the West Virginia Bureau of Senior Services Robert Roswall said. “It is important that our state’s seniors do their part in this fight as well. Providing seniors information and an easy and efficient way to dispose of unused and outdated medicines has the potential to make a serious impact on the fight against drug abuse in the Mountain State.”
The statewide West Virginia donation is part of Mallinckrodt’s nationwide one-million pouch donation initiative to help combat the abuse of prescription pain medications, which is one of the top public health threats in the country today.
A national survey of U.S. adults who used opioids showed that nearly 6 out of 10 had or expect to have leftover opioids, according to findings published online June 13, 2016, in the ‘JAMA Internal Medicine’ journal. Nearly 68 percent of those who used prescription pain relievers non-medically in 2012-2013 got them from friends or relatives, according to the 2013 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
“We are pleased and excited that Senator Manchin selected Putnam County to unveil this statewide plan,” Putnam Wellness Coalition Project Director Bill O’Dell said. “The Putnam Wellness Coalition, like many of the other substance abuse coalitions around the state, is thankful for this effort and for all the help Senator Manchin and others provide. Our vision for Putnam County is to have an empowered community which promotes healthy living, the elimination of substance abuse, and that is a great place to live, work, play, go to school, and raise a family. The Putnam Wellness Coalition engages communities within Putnam County in ongoing efforts to eliminate substance abuse by creating and maintaining a safe and healthy environment that inform, advocate, and support youth and adults. Today’s announcement is one example that fits all of those criteria.”
The drug deactivation pouches are manufactured by Verde Technologies.
The pouches will be delivered to the county coordinators in the coming weeks. Individuals who would like to obtain a pouch, can contact the coordinator in their county listed below.
Sheriff Brian Wilfong, 215 Second Street, Parsons, WV 26287.

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