Drug take back box installed
HUNTINGTON -- The fight to get unused and unwanted medications off the street just got a little easier in Cabell County.
The Huntington Police Department, in collaboration with Cabell County Substance Abuse Prevention Partnership, has installed a permanent drug take back program drop box in the front lobby of HPD headquarters, 675 10th St., Huntington. Available to the public Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day, the box is designed for safe disposal of prescription and over-the-counter medications.
HPD Lt. Dan Underwood said the project had been in the works for several months.
"When we've done the drug take back events, they've been highly success. We can't offer that service 24-7, but we can offer a daily drop-box that is a safe, user-friendly way for people to dispose of medications without any hassle," Underwood said.
Lynn Ormiston, program coordinator with CCSAPP, said the installation of the box is the next step in a regional and national effort to stop drug diversion by getting expired and unused medications out of medicine cabinets.
"This is more convenient than waiting for the drop-off days," Ormiston said. "I hope it complements all the other work we're doing, increasing access to a safe disposal site while reducing access to these medications by those who shouldn't have it."
"The Drug Enforcement Agency has been wanting people to move to the next step and they're looking for communities to do something more permanent to help deal with the issue," said Michelle Perdue, CCSAPP project coordinator. "This is not much different than our drop-off days. People are always calling and asking when the next Drug Take Back Day is and I think having this permanent drop-off will relieve some of the public's fears and concerns about having these medications in their homes."
During October's Drug Take Back Day, more than 3,700 pounds of unwanted prescription drugs were turned in across West Virginia. Ormiston said the drop box will be emptied on a regular basis and items disposed of properly by incineration. Underwood and HPD Capt. Hank Dial said the location is safe, secure and anonymous.
"Diverted prescription medications is a huge concern for us in Huntington right now and this is a good step toward combating that," Dial said.
Ormiston said CCSAPP is working with law enforcement for the placement of a second drug take back box in Cabell County. A drop box is also located in the lobby of the Lawrence County, Ohio, sheriff's department at 115 S. 5th St., Ironton.
Prescription and over-the-counter medications
Loose medication in sealed bags
Liquid medication in sealed containers
Items not accepted
Personal care products
Thermometers and other mercury items