By Rachel Dove
WILLIAMSON - Many communities across the country have begun utilizing prescription drug drop-off boxes at local law enforcement agencies to help assist with getting unwanted, unused or expired medications out of people’s homes and away from potential abuse.
The STOP Coalition plans to purchase two boxes for Mingo County, one to be centrally located in Williamson inside the Mingo County Courthouse and the other to serve the eastern part of the county in Gilbert.
The drug box will be purchased through the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators by the Gilbert Police Department and will be paid for by the STOP Coalition. The price per box is $800, including shipping.
Only one officer will have access to the contents and will be responsible for removal and documentation of the contents. If needed, a policy can be written to outline these procedures as well as checks and balances to ensure proper cataloguing and disposal. The policies would have to adhere to chain-of-evidence procedures.
The contents will be disposed of during the DEA’s “National Take Back Days,” usually held in April and again in October, or can be disposed of using Element bottles. STOP will also provide the police departments with smaller Element bottles that can be given to citizens for proper disposal at home.
STOP plans to provide advertising to promote the use of the drop box. STOP would also like to ask people who use the drop box to fill out a short survey online for evaluation purposes. The evaluation survey will be voluntariy and anonymous.
The boxes will not be used to dispose of IV bags, blood, infectious waste, nebulizers, oxygen tanks, mercury thermometers and needles. Illicit drugs cannot be disposed of in the drop box. The box will be registered with the DEA.
For additional information on NADDI and the drug drop boxes, you may visit the organization’s website at rxdrugdropbox.org.