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Drop box collects over 330 pounds of prescription drugs

Apr. 25, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

IRONTON -- More than 330 pounds of prescription drugs have been collected through a drop box program initiated at the Lawrence County sheriff's office five months ago, said Sheriff Jeff Lawless.

"I think it's been a great success," Lawless said Monday. "We're emptying it on almost a daily basis."

In the first two months, the drug take back box collected 91 pounds of unwanted prescription drugs. The first three months of the year, the office has collected 243 pounds of prescription drugs.

"This proves to me that this program works," Lawless said earlier. "As a result of this program our homes, our streets and our waterways are safer today."

Another drug take back program has been planned from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Ironton Hills Plaza parking lot. The pharmaceutical collection event is sponsored by the sheriff's office, Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital and the Lawrence-Scioto Waste Management District, according to Dan Palmer, district director.

Prescription, over-the-counter medications and vitamins can be dropped off Saturday, according to Palmer. Intra-venous solutions, injectables and needles also can be dropped off, he said.

The collection event allows residents to properly dispose of unused and expired drugs, Lawless said.

Since pharmaceuticals are showing up in waterways across the country, officials are pushing to get rid of the materials at free programs such as the drug take back box at the sheriff's office and at events like the one scheduled this weekend, he said.

The drugs will be incinerated, Lawless said.

A study by the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission detected low concentrations of dozens of chemicals and pharmaceuticals in the Ohio River. Samples for the study were taken at 22 locations between Pittsburgh and Paducah, Ky.

"This allows people to dispose of these materials in a safe manner," Lawless said.