Pictured above is and Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics prescription medication drop box. OBN has installed 125 such boxes throughout the state and plans on adding 25 more.
Copyright 2011 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
SKIATOOK, Okla. - Skiatook now has a drop box where residents can safely dispose of their unused prescription medications.
An Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics-provided drop box was placed Tuesday in the lobby of the Skiatook Police Department where residents will have access to the box anytime, according to officials.
OBN spokesman Mark Woodward told 2NEWS this box is one of 125 placed throughout the state in an effort to combat prescription drug abuse and drug overdose – especially by teenagers.
“The idea is all Oklahoma residents are guilty of keeping drugs after they are expired,” he said, saying teenagers know this and often raid their parents' and grandparents' medicine cabinets in search of their drugs. “Teens eat, trade and sell those drugs on the streets.”
Giving residents a way to safely rid those cabinets of such drugs -- and in so doing keeping them out of the hands of potential drug abusers – is the idea behind the drop boxes.
The permanent disposal centers are a great improvement on OBN's already successful drug take-back days which OBN occasionally hosted in communities throughout the year, said Woodward. The boxes give residents the ability to clean out their cabinets any hour of the day, any day of the week, throughout the year.
Since OBN began installing the drop boxes 18 months ago, they have collected an estimated 23,000 pounds of prescription medications.
To illustrate how long some people keep their drugs, Woodward told 2NEWS once an analysis of the drugs discarded turned up a pill from 1948.
“Again, we want to encourage people if they don't need a drug anymore to get rid of it.”
He said by using the drop boxes, residents don't need to be worried about throwing the drugs away where they can be fetched out of the trash or flushing them down the toilet where they will contaminate the water supply.
The drugs placed in the boxes, he explained are collected and then disposed of by Covanta Energy in Tulsa in a way that produces clean energy, according to a news release from OBN.
“It's a win, win!” he said.
Not accepted in the boxes are syringes, chemicals, liquids and inhalers.
OBN has 25 more drop boxes on order to place in Sheriff's offices and police departments throughout the state.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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