All medications collected are destroyed by the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department through their incinerator known as the Drug Terminator.
The drop-off boxes were purchased through funding received from the South Kentucky RECC People Fund.
The drop boxes provide a safe way for people to get rid of their medicines — and they help people keep their medicine cabinets clear or unused and expired medications.
“When we reviewed the available research, we discovered that many people, primarily youth, first abuse prescription drugs by obtaining the medications from the medicine cabinet,” Wilson said. “We also found that many people were unsure of how to dispose of medications, so they just kept these medications in the medicine cabinet.”
Wilson said the medicine cabinet can be a target for thieves, and he said they’ve even heard of incidences of people breaking into homes of the recently deceased just to get access to the medicine cabinet.
“These drop boxes can absolutely help with individuals wanting to clean out medicine cabinets,” Wilson said. “We encourage people to clean out their medicine cabinets and use these drop boxes to dispose of the medicine, whether prescription or over-the-counter.”
Proper medication disposal has proven a difficult thing. Flushing drugs can pollute water supplies and throwing them in the trash can create an easy target for those looking for drug, and it can even create a serious risk for pets and wildlife. Also, due to DEA regulations, pharmacists are not allowed to take back controlled substances once they are dispensed, according to Wilson.
“By partnering with Sheriff Todd Wood, 911 Director Lisa Gilbert, and the South Kentucky RECC People Fund we were able to put our plan into motion very quickly,” Wilson added. “We were able to put the drop-off receptacles into place in May of 2012.”