The Whitehall Division of Police is offering an opportunity for the safe and anonymous disposal of expired or unwanted prescription and over-the-counter drugs. And it's an immediate hit.
A Drug Drop Box went into service March 4 in the lobby of the Whitehall Division of Police, 365 S. Yearling Road.
"Our primary goal is to provide a way for people to dispose of (prescription drugs) and keep them off the streets," Whitehall Lt. Mark Newcomb said.
Expired or unused prescription drugs can be a source of drug abuse for juveniles and adults and sometimes are a supply line for drug trafficking, Newcomb said.
It also prevents the disposal of drugs in household trash or via flushing, Newcomb said.
Whitehall police collaborated with the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators, or NADDI, to obtain the Drug Drop Box for $800 from the non-profit organization.
In turn, Whitehall police reports to NADDI the amount and types of drugs collected in the drop box for an initial six-month period.
Newcomb said she saw such a box at a police station in Delaware and inquired about it, then called NADDI to arrange for the delivery and installation of a drop box at the Whitehall police station.
"It's for the collection of pills, tablets, and patches," said Newcomb, but it is not designed for the collections of liquids or syringes.
The public is taking advantage of the opportunity.
"It's been completely filled and emptied" within four weeks of being set up, said Newcomb, adding that over-the-counter drugs are most common, along with a smattering of controlled, prescription drugs.
Nothing illicit or illegal has been turned in, he said.
"We hope people continue to use this opportunity to get rid of unused or unneeded prescription drugs," said Newcomb, who encouraged residents to do so, especially if there is a chance others living in the house might abuse the drugs or provide the drugs to others.
The drug drop box resembles a public mail box and is located in the lobby of the police headquarters, which is open 24 hours a day.