A recent project by the latest Leadership UA class has resulted in a permanent drug-collection receptacle being installed at the Upper Arlington Municipal Services Center.

A recent project by the latest Leadership UA class has resulted in a permanent drug-collection receptacle being installed at the Upper Arlington Municipal Services Center.

Each year, Leadership UA seeks to engage current and emerging local leaders and inspire them to take active roles in their community through classes for adults and youths.

This year, the adult class set its sights on addressing drug abuse in Upper Arlington, and as a result, completed a project to install a secure collection box at the MSC where residents can drop off unused prescription medications.

"The group's consensus was that this was a valuable resource that the community lacked," said Thad Boggs, a Leadership UA class member and Upper Arlington assistant city attorney. "The drop box provides a safe, effective and environmentally responsible method of disposing of unused prescription medications at residents' convenience.

"Convenience of responsible disposal of unused prescription medications is an important component of preventing access to and abuse of the unused prescription medications that may be stored in the home."

Officer Shawn Paynter said the Upper Arlington Police Division empties the drop box every 10 days.

Since it was installed in mid-May, Paynter said approximately 25 pounds of medications have been dropped off.

"The Upper Arlington Police Division is thankful for the efforts of Leadership UA and their work to install the drug-collection box," he said. "This is a convenient way for residents in Upper Arlington and surrounding communities to safely dispose of any unused or unwanted drugs in their medicine cabinets.

"Removing these items from a home can reduce the danger of unintentional use or overdose and illegal abuse."

There are limits on what can be put in the disposal box. Because of state and federal regulations, illegal drugs, needles, syringes and lancets can't be put in the drug-collection box. Other banned substances include medicines that contain iodine; thermometers that contain mercury; cancer chemotherapy drugs and cytotoxic drugs; and compressed cylinders and aerosols.

The drop box project was part of a larger project by this year's Leadership UA class to address drug abuse in the community.

According to Upper Arlington Assistant City Manager Dan Ralley, who also took part in the Leadership UA class, the drop box was obtained at no cost through a National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators program with CVS pharmacies.

He said residents can drop off unused medications "any hours that the MSC building is open to the general public."

"This includes normal Monday through Friday business hours and other times that the building is open to the public for meetings and other programming," Ralley said.

"The receptacle is secured to its position in the MSC," Boggs said. "It is also located adjacent to the Police Division, which has 24/7 law enforcement staffing and is continuously monitored via closed-circuit video.

"Additionally, the design of the receptacle, as mandated by federal regulation, prevents unauthorized individuals from being able to access its contents."