COLDWATER (WTVB) - Disposing of unwanted or unused prescription drugs has been expanded from a twice a year public event to a 24-7, 365 day a year convenience thanks to the Branch County Sheriff’s Department in collaboration with the Branch County Substance Abuse Task Force. The effort has been funded through a grant from the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators. Previously, the program has been operated through each of the law enforcement agencies in the different communities in the county on a semi-annual basis. Now, a permanent medication disposal program is available with a drop off box located in the public lobby in the front of the county jail on the east side of the building on Marshall Road. The box is monitored full time by staff and a video feed. The drop box will not be able to accept intravenous solutions, injectibles or syringes. The collection is free with no questions asked. A federal report indicates that seventy percent of people who abuse prescription pain relievers get them from friends or relatives. The local Subtance Abuse Task Force is hoping to see a dramatic decrease by limiting their availability. The Drug Enforcement Administration reported this year that 25% of drug-related emergency room cases were related to prescription drug abuse. Safe disposal of prescription drugs also reduces the damage to groundwater and the environment that results from improper disposal.
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