August marks the one–year anniversary of the installation of Angelina County’s prescription drug/medication drop box. The drop box was installed at the Angelina County Sheriff’s Department lobby on August 7, 2017 and has collected over 300 pounds of unwanted, unused, and expired drugs/medications over the past year.
“The prescription drug drop box is an important component of a safe and healthy community,” commented Sharon Kruk, Executive Director of The Coalition. “When residents safely dispose of their prescription drugs, it means fewer drugs on the streets that could be abused. The drop box also keeps people from throwing unwanted medication in the trash or flushing them down the toilet, which leads to contamination of our water supply.”
The Angelina County drop box is available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week in the Sheriff’s Department lobby. Accepted drugs/medications include: prescription medications, patches, ointments, cough syrups, over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, medication samples and pet medications. Not accepted in the dropbox are needles, lancets, syringes, aerosol cans, inhalers, thermometers, alcohol/peroxide, medication from businesses or clinics, and personal care products.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, from 1999 to 2016, more than 630,000 people have died from a drug overdose. Around 66 percent of the more than 63,600 drug overdose deaths in 2016 involved an opioid. In 2016, the number of overdose deaths involving opioids (including prescription opioids and illegal opioids like heroin and illicitly manufactured fentanyl) was five times higher than in 1999. On average, 115 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose.
“By safely disposing leftover or expired medications, the residents of Angelina County can play their part in preventing future drug addiction and overdose,” Kruk said. “We are thankful of the partnership with the Sheriff’s Department that offers this service to our community.”
Over the past 30 years, The Coalition has focused on eliminating the use of harmful substances by affecting public policy, laws, attitudes and behaviors, all in an effort to foster healthy life-long choices for the local community. For more information, please contact The Coalition at (936) 634-9308 or visit www.angelinacoalition.org.