Aug. 7, 2012 — The Rowan County Sheriff’s Department and Rowan UNITE have collaborated to offer residents a safe way to dispose of unused, unwanted and expired prescription drugs.
A permanent box, located inside the sheriff’s office at the Rowan County Courthouse, offers citizens a safe way to dispose of unwanted drugs without waiting for prescription “take back” days.
“Rowan UNITE started the prescription take back program when the coalition received the Drug Free Communities Support grant,” said Dana Quesinberry, Drug Free Communities project director. “Local law enforcement partners collect unused medication twice a year. This permanent drop box is a natural extension of this program.”
“The metal, locked box is similar to a mailbox,” said Chief Deputy Sheriff Joe Cline. “Once the unwanted pills are dropped in, they cannot be removed nor can anyone reach into/through the door.”
“Pills left in the locked box are removed daily and put into the sheriff’s evidence storage until the next take back event,” Quesinberry said.
Rowan UNITE purchased the permanent drop off box from the NADDI (National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators) through the Drug Free Communities grant.
Quesinberry said proper disposal of medication is difficult.
“Flushing the medication is not environmentally safe. Throwing them in the trash makes them an easy target for thieves and pets may ingest them,” she added. “Pharmacists by law cannot take back any medications once they have been dispensed.”
Cline said a safety issue arises when unused prescriptions are left in the home.
“Prescription drug problems have rapidly increased,” he said. “Having them in the home makes you a target for theft and poses a danger for children who may accidently take them.”
“Individuals should bring their unused prescription medications in the original containers,” said Quesinberry. Once you arrive you should remove the label. Plastic baggies will be provided to place the pills in. No liquids, needles or aerosol cans will be accepted.”
“The permanent drop box helps limit access to prescription drugs and will make a difference in our community,” said Cline.
“We are grateful to the sheriff’s office for providing this service to our community,” said Quesinberry.
The drop box is available for safe disposal, no questions asked, Monday thru Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Kim Bandura can be reached at email@example.com or by telephone at 784-4116.