There’s a safe place for old prescription drugs, and it’s not in the medicine cabinet.
Thanks to the DeKalb Prevention Coalition, two permanent drop boxes are now available in DeKalb County for you to dispose of old or unwanted prescription medications in order to keep potentially unsafe medicine from hurting children, fueling drug abuse or polluting the environment.
The newest drop box location is inside the Alexandria City Hall building. It’s available to anyone during normal business hours at city hall but especially to residents in the Alexandria, Liberty, and Dowelltown communities. The other drop box is at the Smithville Police Department inside the City Hall building. It has been available to the public for over four years.
The drop-off points are part of the DeKalb Prevention Coalition’s effort to bring more awareness to safe medication storage and help citizens dispose of pills or other medications they don’t need anymore.
“The first step is to make people, especially parents, aware of the problem. If we’re able to help one family through education, awareness and the practical solution these drop boxes offer, it’s absolutely worth doing this program,” Lisa Cripps, Coordinator of the DeKalb Prevention Coalition told WJLE Thursday.
“Last fall we met with Alexandria Police Chief Chris Russell and asked if he would be interested in having a drop box for medications in the western end of our county. He said he would love to have that so we started the paperwork in the fall and we got approval of it by October. The drop box has been mounted at city hall and became ready for use in December. We deposited our first medications Thursday. I’m thrilled to have it there for the people of Alexandria, Liberty, and Dowelltown and even surrounding counties,” said Cripps.
According to Cripps, DeKalb County is fortunate to receive a second drop box.
“The state gets so much money every year for the drop boxes and you have to apply for those. They only awarded five or six this year across the state so we were really lucky to get one of those. We put our application in early and felt like we had a good chance for it,” she said.
“Having two drop box locations in this county is going to be wonderful. We have the one at the Smithville City Hall and its great. We have used it a whole lot and we will continue to use it a lot. But its really good to have one in the western part of the county close to where people in the rural areas don’t have to travel longer distances,” Cripps said.
“If anyone has a loved one who has passed away and they don’t know what to do with their prescriptions bag it up and bring it in to the Smithville City Hall or the Alexandria City Hall and dispose of that medication. We know that prescription medications are a part of everybody’s life but if it is unused or out of date, drop it off at one of our drop boxes to keep it environmentally safe,” Cripps concluded.
The DeKalb Prevention Coalition also helps sponsor a local effort on National Prescription Drug Take Back Day every April and October to encourage residents on those days to come out and drop off any unwanted, unneeded, or expired prescription medication for safe disposal at city hall in downtown Smithville.