Someone at each law enforcement agency will check the drop box regularly to log the amount of drugs received, and they will be destroyed according to DEA¿regulations.
Another reason for the drop box programs is to reduce environmental impacts made from drugs flushed down the toilet and into the water supply, Winchester Chief of Police Kevin Palmer said at a recent city commission meeting.
“A¿lot of people think it’s OK to just flush their unwanted medications down the toilet or down the sink, and studies have shown that there are trace amounts of pharmaceuticals in our water supply,” Smith said. “And researchers are trying to determine if these levels are affecting our wildlife or posing a health risk to people.”
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration policy for disposing of drugs, those wishing to get rid of an expired or unwanted medication at home should mix it with an unpalatable substance like kitty litter or coffee grounds, place the mixture in a sealed plastic bag and then throw the bag away in the trash.
Smith stressed the importance of people being smart with their medicine cabinets.
“It really provides a supply of medications to our teenagers, and I really want people to remember that it’s important to lock up their prescription medications so that visitors to your home, or even people you know, can’t really get to them,” she said. “We just want to make sure to remember, take the proper steps to maybe put them some place else. Maybe lock them up in a little container, and keep them out of sight.”
Those who dispose of their prescription bottles at home or at the drop boxes should mark out their personal information with a black marker, Smith said.
“Take the steps with your prescriptions that you would take with your identity, with your credit cards, you know all that type of information,” she said. “You really need to protect yourself with your information that is on your prescription bottles.”
Money from the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators was used to purchase the box at the police department, and money from Bluegrass Prevention was used to purchase the box at the sheriff’s office.
Accepted drop box items are prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, pet medications, medicated ointments, medicated creams, medicated lotions, liquid medication in plastic containers, vitamins and inhalers.
Contact Katie Perkowski at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow her on Twitter, @TheSunKatie.