MIDDLEPORT — Instead of medication drop-off days just being available several times a year, within the next month a locked RX drug drop box will be installed at Middleport Village Hall for use by Meigs County residents.
Middleport Mayor Michael Gerlach received notification this week from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office that Meigs County’s free drop-off box will be located there adjacent to law enforcement facilities. The emphasis of the program is to provide a place where citizens can properly dispose of unwanted medication immediately instead of having to wait around for a take-back program which may not be scheduled for several weeks or months.
The reasoning, according to NADDI, a drug information source,”every day drugs remain in the home, it makes them a potential target for abuse, with potential catastrophic outcomes, especially for our American youth.”
For that reason NADDI is offering a law enforcement agency in each county an opportunity to receive a free locked box to accept unwanted pharmaceuticals almost every day of the week in their own community.
The Ohio Attorney General’s Office is partnering with the Ohio Department of Health and the Drug Free Action Alliance to distribute 75 drug drop boxes around the state. The law enforcement agencies in 24 counties of Southeastern Ohio are eligible to apply for the pilot program, offered free of charge. Sometime ago Middleport submitted the application which has now been accepted with delivery to be made within the next month.
According to John Bourke, Commander for the Warren County Drug Task Force, “more people die from prescription drug overdoses than in car crashes.”
“Part of the problem is the medicine left in people’s homes. They’re outdated. They’re not needed. They sit in there one, two, three years. People don’t even remember that they have them,” Burke said. “The unintentional overdose deaths related to pharmaceuticals as opposed to cocaine and heroin exceeds that combined.”
Ohio Attorney General Mike Dewine called Southern Ohio the “epicenter of the prescription drug problem.”
He said law enforcement agencies in the following counties are eligible to apply for the pilot program free of charge: Adams, Fayette, Jackson, Preble, Athens, Gallia, Lawrence, Ross, Brown, Greene, Meigs, Scioto, Butler, Hamilton, Montgomery, Vinton, Clermont, Highland, Pickaway, Warren, Clinton, Hocking, Pike, and Washington. However, NADDI advises applications for the grants are not currently being accepted although funding is expected to be restored in the future.
Each county is restricted to one of the free drug drop boxes.