Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced that 66 law enforcement agencies in southern Ohio will be awarded secure prescription drug drop boxes in an effort to reduce drug abuse in their communities.
Locally the New Boston Police Department, Portsmouth Police Department, Scioto County Sheriff’s Office and the Shawnee State university Department of Public Safety will be received drop boxes.
The Attorney General’s Office is partnering with the Ohio Department of Health and the Drug Free Action Alliance to provide the free collection bins as part of their newly established Ohio Prescription Drug Drop Box Program announced in July. Every agency that applied for a drop box will receive one.
“When a person has unwanted or unneeded prescriptions in their home there is always the chance that they could end up in the hands of a child, a teenager, or even a drug addict,” said Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. “By providing these secure drop boxes, residents will now be able to safely discard of their medications without any concern that the pills could hurt someone.”
The drop boxes are mailbox-style disposal bins that can be placed inside law enforcement agencies to be used by residents during normal business hours. Officers will then be required to safely dispose of the pills.
“Allowing Ohioans to dispose of prescription medications in a timely manner will reduce the risk of these medications being diverted or misused,” said Dr. Ted Wymyslo, Director of the Ohio Department of Health. “I am proud of the collaboration between agencies in their efforts to safeguard Ohio families from this epidemic.”
During a recent one-day Drug Take Back Day orchestrated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Ohioans returned more than nine tons of prescription pills at 223 collections sites.
Southern Ohio is considered the epicenter for prescription drug abuse in the state.
“Drug Free Action Alliance is a proud partner of this program that helps Ohio communities reduce access to unused prescription medications through safe disposal methods,” said Marcie Seidel, Drug Free Action Alliance Executive Director. “These communities are proactively taking steps that will strengthen their neighborhoods and potentially save lives.”
The Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services is also supporting the program through funding provided to the Drug Free Action Alliance. The drop boxes will be purchased from the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators and will be delivered within the next few weeks.