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Jail lobby is drop-off for unused medications

POSTED: April 17, 2013 4:00 a.m.

Law enforcement officials are hoping a new service will play a role in keeping prescription and over the counter drugs out of the hands of children.

Dawson County Sheriff Billy Carlisle recently announced the lobby of the detention center as a permanent drop-off location for the disposal of prescription and over the counter medications that are out of date or no longer needed.

Prescription drug abuse among all age groups is currently being reported by law enforcement agencies across the state and country as a real and growing danger, according to Carlisle.

"In addition, unsafe disposal of prescription and over the counter medications is costly to our environment and, therefore, to our health," he said.

In response to the growing demand for safe and convenient ways to dispose of household drugs, the Council on Alcohol and Drugs recently launched the "Big White Box" campaign. It kicked off with the council donating a Drug Box in virtually every county in the state that requested one.

Dawson County's "Big White Box" is accessible to the public 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

"You can simply stop by the detention center, walk into the lobby, drop your unused prescriptions into the box, and we will have them destroyed properly," Carlisle said.

The campaign goals are to keep these drugs out of the hands of children and teens, off the street, prevent overdoses and accidental poisonings, and avoid environmental contamination by not throwing drugs in the toilet, sink or trash.

Items that can be placed in these secure drug boxes include expired and unused prescription (non-narcotics and narcotics), over the counter drugs, medication samples, medicated ointments and lotions, drops, inhalers, unopened epi-pens, herbals and veterinary medications.

Items that should not be placed in the boxes include needles, biohazard materials and illegal drugs.

"Your Dawson County Sheriff's Office constantly strives to be proactive in enhancing public safety and saving lives in Dawson County," Carlisle said.

For more information on the "Big White Box," call Carlisle at (706) 344-3535 or e-mail him at carlisle@dawsoncountysheriff.org.

For more information on preventing prescription drug misuse and abuse, visit www.stoprxabuseinga.org.

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