Residents in Madison Township and the surrounding area now have a safe way to dispose of unused prescription drugs, thanks to a new drop box at the Madison Township Police Department.

The metal box, which will be accessible during normal business hours from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, is in the police department lobby at 4567 Madison Lane in Groveport.

"Any person can simply walk in and dispose of new or old pills, including prescription medications, or any other illegal substances and place them into this box with no questions asked," police Chief Gary York said in a news release.

Ohio was ranked second in opioid overdoses, behind only West Virginia, according to 2016 statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It's a ranking firefighters and medics in Madison Township, who answered more than 100 overdose-related runs last year, know too well, fire Chief Jeff Fasone said during a community forum in April.

More than one-third of the calls answered by Madison Township in 2017 -- at least 38 -- required the use of Narcan, a nasal spray version of naloxone, a drug that can stop opioid overdoses, Fasone said.

About eight people die each day in Ohio from an opioid-related overdose, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

Madison Township police detective Keith Mallory, who spearheaded efforts to provide the drop box, said it will give residents a closer location for disposal.

He stressed that no one using the drop box will be approached by officers.

"Maybe you've got mom and dad who know their son or daughter is abusing prescription pills and they get ahold of them," Mallory said. "They'll be able to get rid of them without fear of anyone knowing."

Also, families are oftentimes unsure of what to do with prescription drugs following the death of a loved one, Mallory said, so the drop box provides a safe place to dispose of those medications.

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