The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Local News

February 22, 2012

Prescription medication drop-off boxes expanded

Area sheriffs are teaming up to help combat the drug problem across southern West Virginia by placing drop-off boxes for prescription medication in secure locations.

“We’re all fighting the same problem,” said Raleigh County Sheriff Steve Tanner.

Tanner presented security drop-off boxes to Monroe County Sheriff Mike Gravely and Summers County Sheriff Edward Dolphin.

These secure metal boxes are similar to a mailbox. Once drugs are dropped inside, they are locked there until the end of the day. The boxes are emptied every day and the contents are taken to the county’s designated disposal site.

Greenbrier County Sheriff Jim Childers initially started the drop-off box program and has seen great success so far. In January, 10 pounds of prescription medication were collected and even more has been collected so far in February.

“It takes all of us to fight this war on drugs,” Childers said.

Tanner says this program is good for the environment, good for the citizens and good for law enforcement. 

He says these drop-off locations provide an excellent service to the community because many elderly residents who have unused prescription medications in their homes fear break-ins.

The EPA says flushing or throwing away prescription medications can pollute water systems and create health hazards, so these drop-off boxes are helping prevent that type of pollution, according to the sheriffs.

Gravely says that many drugs found in school systems came from the medicine cabinets at home.

“We’ve been very hard working in trying to get drugs off the street.”

Dolphin added, “It’s a very large problem. I’ve been at this for over 28 years. We’ve got to cut the supply and reduce the availability of (drugs).”

Sheriffs from each county said that if someone is unable to bring their medications to the drop-off locations, simply call the Sheriff’s Department and a deputy will be dispatched to pick them up for you.

The Raleigh County drop-off box is located in the lobby of the Sheriff’s Office at 201 South Eisenhower Drive. The Summers County drop-off box is also located in the lobby of the Sheriff’s Office. The Greenbrier and Monroe county drop-off boxes are located at the courthouses inside the foyer.

— E-mail: wholdren@register-herald.com

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