Members of the Kosciusko Coalition on Drug Education, also called K-C.O.D.E., were on hand at the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department to unveil the first Prescription Collection/Drop-Box in Kosciusko County for unused or expired medications. The U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration conducts a one-day, bi-annual program each spring and fall to collect such medications at different law enforcement locations across the country. Locally, the drug collection day is this Saturday.
K-CODE President Lance Grubbs had originally contacted the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department to become the lead agency for this event in the county. Sgt. Chad Hill, public information officer for the department, was assigned the task but took the program one step further after speaking with a regional DEA special agent assigned to the “National Take-Back Initiative Program.”
The federal agent advised that several other Indiana counties had previously obtained a collection/ drop-box for citizens in their respective communities to dispose of their medication without having to wait until the spring or fall collection dates. The Kosciusko Coalition on Drug Education agreed with the idea and was able to allocate funding for the purchase of the Prescription Drop-Box with the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department purchasing the decals.
The result was unveiled Friday at the entrance to the parking lot directly in front of the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department. Inside and outside surveillance cameras monitor the building, parking lot, and collection box 24 hours a day, which allows the Kosciusko County Jail Division to view any potential tampering of the box.
The Drug Enforcement Administration states that prescription drug abuse statistics are very high and have been increasing at a steady rate nationally. By providing a location and collection box to dispose of such items, it eliminates the potential for illegal or misuse of medications. It also allows citizens to have their medications destroyed properly by incineration rather than disposing of them in landfills or a more dangerous method; a waste water/sanitary system.
The adverse effects of flooding our sanitary systems, lake, rivers and other waterways with prescription medications has gain national media attention due to the potential damage of our eco system, habitat, and water quality.
K-C.O.D.E. asks Kosciusko County citizens who wish to dispose of their prescription medications in the collection box to please drop them off in their original containers if possible, or to place them in sealed plastic bags.