Bellefontaine Examiner

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New drop box to fight against drug abuse

Disposal of unwanted medication now available 24/7


Logan County Sheriff Andrew J. Smith, left, opens the locked medication drop box that is now available at the sheriff’s office, 284 S. County Road 32, 24 hours a day through a partnership with the Mary Rutan Foundation. Standing by the box is Tammy Allison, Mary Rutan Foundation chief operating officer. (EXAMINER PHOTO/MANDY LOEHR)

With the beginning of a new project started this month, Logan County residents now have a practical and convenient way to fight back against drug abuse in the community.

A medication drop box has been installed at the lobby of the Logan County Sheriff’s Office, 284 S. County Road 32, and is accessible 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. Area residents can drop off their unused, unwanted and expired medications anonymously at this location at no cost and with no questions asked.

Items that can be dropped off are pills and patches, including prescription medication, over-the-counter drugs, medication samples and pet medication. It is not meant for needles, syringes (sharps), thermometers, liquids or inhalers.

This new initiative represents a partnership between the sheriff’s office and the Mary Rutan Foundation. It continues similar efforts to conduct the biannual Medication Take Back Days in the fall and spring with the Drug Enforcement Agency.

“We’ve been wanting to offer a medication drop box since we began the Medication Take Back Days in 2010. Twice a year is not enough,” said Tammy Allison, the foundation’s chief operating officer.

“However, we weren’t allowed to have these style drop boxes for medication in Ohio until more recently.”

As a result, the Mary Rutan Foundation recently purchased the mailbox style box from the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators for $800, and will rely on the efforts of the sheriff’s office staff to monitor the box.

Sheriff Andrew J. Smith said his staff will be charged with checking the contents of the drop box, and those medication items will be collected and then turned into the DEA to be destroyed.

“Hats off to them,” Mrs. Allison said to the sheriff and his staff. “We wouldn’t have been able to do this without law enforcement.

“We want to build on this program and make the community aware of how unattended drugs can be dangerous. ... The collaboration and efforts of Sheriff Smith and the Logan County Sheriff’s Office proves that the concern is real and the issue is serious.”

Sheriff Smith said he also appreciates having the opportunity to implement this practical program.

“The misuse of prescription medications is a widespread problem throughout the United States and Logan County is no different,” he said.

“Having a permanent medication drop box is one more strategy Logan County has in our war against drugs. It reminds Logan County residents of the importance of discarding prescription drugs to reduce the opportunity of abuse.”

Read the full story in Tuesday's Examiner.


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