SALYERSVILLE – Magoffin County residents brought 25,548 pills to be destroyed as part of a “Clean Your Medicine Cabinet Out Day” program held in Salyersville Wednesday, August 31.

This was the third event held in Magoffin County since UNITE unveiled its “Pill Dragon” – a mobile incinerator provided in cooperation with Eastern Kentucky PRIDE and the Kentucky Army National Guard – in 2010.

“Magoffin County has accounted for more than 13 percent (84,553 of the total 628,278) of all unwanted or outdated pills brought in for destruction in the Fifth Congressional District,” said Dan Smoot, deputy director for UNITE. “This signifies that the Magoffin ASAP/Drug-Free Communities UNITE Coalition is serious about addressing the drug issue.”

“Proper control of personal medications reduces your risk of being a victim of a burglary or theft,” said Smoot, adding it also “avoids the potential health and environmental effects of having these substances in our water system and soil if they are flushed down the toilet or tossed in a landfill.”

Some studies have shown that 90 percent of teens that try prescription drugs for the first time turn to the family medicine cabinet or to a friend’s family for prescription and over-the-counter medications – making them an Accidental Dealer.

Aside from the fact that taking or giving away medicine that is not prescribed to you is illegal, even at small doses the potential exists for serious health effects – including death. This is especially worrisome in southern and eastern Kentucky, where the average age of first-time use is age 11.