Sheriff’s department sets up prescription drug drop-off box
People with leftover prescription medications they want to get rid of but don’t know how need look no further than the lobby of the Washington County Jail, 2185 Lexington Boulevard, where a permanent medication drop box has recently been set up.
Washington County Sheriff Jared Schneider said that the box was made possible by a small grant from the Governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy and is being used to help address the increasing problem of prescription drug abuse. The drop box will be accessible to the public 24 hours a day. Schneider said that prescription drug abuse is the fastest-growing form of substance abuse in Iowa and addiction to pain relievers can also lead to heroin use.
“Many people become addicted to prescription drugs because they started using a family member’s leftover prescriptions,” Schneider said. “Once addicted, some of these individuals may then eventually move to heroin to fulfill that addiction.”
Schneider said the sheriff’s office had ordered the box in January and it arrived last week. It is bolted to the floor inside the front door of the jail.
People wishing to use the box are asked to place over-the-counter or prescription medications in sealed non-breakable containers to drop in the box for disposal. They are requested to not include any sharp objects or any other items that can cause injury to sheriff’s personnel. A camera is installed in the jail that monitors the box all the time.
Schneider said that people could drop the medications off no questions asked. He also said that illegal drugs should not be deposited in the box.
“I would not probably recommend people doing that because transporting it from where you found it to our location could cause you some problems if you are caught with that,” Schneider said. “It is best if you come across an illegal substance like that to notify us so we can come and address it.”
Schneider said that for years the sheriff’s office has participated in the Drug Enforcement Agency’s (DEA) prescription drug drop-off, which is held twice a year and gives people to chance to turn in unused prescription drugs for disposal.
Schneider said that during the last drop-off, over 40 pounds of medications were left with the officers.