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Prescription Drugs SPF-Rx

Drop Off Location for Unused or Unwanted Prescriptions
(No Needles, Sharps, Aerosols, or Liquids)

Weirton Police Department:  Monday-Friday 8 am-4 pm

Brooke County Courthouse:  Monday-Friday 8:30 am-5 pm

Follansbee Police Department:  24/7

Bethlehem Police Department:  Monday-Friday 8 am-4 pm

Triadelphia Police Department:  Monday-Friday 8:30 am-3:30 pm

Moundsville Police Department: 24/7

Moundsville State Police Barracks:  Monday-Friday 8 am-4 pm

Wheeling Police Department:   24/7

Hundred City Building:  Monday-Friday 8:00 am-3:00 pm

New Martinsville Police Department:  24/7

What is Prescription Drug Misuse?

Prescription drugs are used for pain relief or other medically necessary purpose.  They are generally safe when taken as prescribed by a doctor, but they can be misused. People misuse prescription drugs by:

  • Taking the medicine in a way or dose other than prescribed
  • Taking someone else's prescription medicine
  • Taking the medicine for the effect it causes-to get high

Substance Use Disorder (SUD) and Prescription Drugs

Misuse of prescription drugs can lead to a substance use disorder (SUD), a medical illness which ranges from mild to severe and from temporary to chronic. Addiction is the most severe form of an SUD. An SUD develops when continued misuse of the drug changes the brain and causes health problems and failure to meet responsibilities at work, school, or home. 

Prescription Opioids

Opioids bind to and activate opioid receptors on cells located in many areas of the brain, spinal cord, and other organs in the body, especially those involved in feelings of pain and pleasure. When opioids attach to these receptors, they block pain signals sent from the brain to the body and release large amounts of dopamine throughout the body. This release can strongly reinforce the act of taking the drug, making the user want to repeat the experience.  People addicted to an opioid medication who stop using the drug can have severe withdrawal symptoms that begin as early as a few hours after the drug was last taken. These symptoms include:

  • Muscle and bone pain
  • Sleep problems
  • Diarrhea and vomiting
  • Cold flashes with goose bumps
  • Uncontrollable leg movements
  • Severe cravings

Prescription Central Nervous System Depressants (CNS)

Most CNS depressants act on the brain by increasing activity of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a chemical that inhibits brain activity. This action causes the drowsy and calming effects that make the medicine effective for anxiety and sleep disorders. People who start taking CNS depressants usually feel sleepy and uncoordinated for the first few days until the body adjusts to these side effects. If a person takes CNS depressants long term, he or she might need larger doses to achieve therapeutic effects. Continued use can also lead to dependence and withdrawal when use is abruptly reduced or stopped. Suddenly stopping can also lead to harmful consequences like seizures.  The prescribing physician should always be consulted prior to making any adjustments to CNS.

Prescription Stimulants

Prescription stimulants increase the activity of the brain chemicals dopamine and norepinephrine. Dopamine is involved in the reinforcement of rewarding behaviors. Norepinephrine affects blood vessels, blood pressure and heart rate, blood sugar, and breathing.  Long-term use of stimulants, even as prescribed by a doctor, can cause a person to develop a tolerance, which means that he or she needs higher and/or more frequent doses of the drug to get the desired effects. At high doses, prescription stimulants can lead to a dangerously high body temperature, an irregular heartbeat, heart failure, and seizures.

Treatment for SUD

A range of treatments including medicines and behavioral therapies are effective in helping people struggling with Prescription Misuse. Contact Help4WV for treatment options by visiting, Calling (844)435-7498, or texting (844) 435-7498 available 24/7.