AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Police departments around the area are working to get unused prescription medication off the streets.
Prescription drugs sitting around the house can lead to trouble. Many communities have boxes where you can drop them off and take away the worry.
“We realized years ago kids are not only abusing cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana, and illegal drugs but they were abusing medicine,” said Jeff Toth, an Austintown police officer who has been teaching the D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program for 17 years.
Anything from Tylenol to oxycontin can be put in these drop-off boxes, many of which are available 24 hours a day.
The Austintown Police Department has a drop-off box available year-round.
Senator Sherrod Brown met with Austintown officers on Monday to talk about the importance of keeping unused medications, many of them opioids, from getting into the wrong hands.
All drop-off boxes will be available at the end of the month for National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Administration.
The DEA is also responsible for the amount drugmakers can produce in the U.S. each year.
“We want to try and find a way to limit the amount of drugs they’re putting into circulation,” Brown said.
He said while police are working the Drug Take-Back program, he’s working in Washington to decrease the number of painkillers on the market.
“Last month, I introduced the Opioid Quota Act to shed light on annual quotas for prescription painkiller reduction, put a limit on the number of these potentially-deadly painkillers,” he said.
Another major problem is drugs getting into the country. Ohio’s senators recognize the consequences that is having — thousands of Ohioans dying from overdoses.
“Teaming up on a pair of bills to crack down on illegal imports. The Interdict Act so that agents can scan shipments for fentanyl at the border,” Brown said.
Another bill requires foreign postal services to send the same advance data as FedEx and UPS.
But the simplest way to get involved in fighting the drug problem is by dropping off unwanted prescription drugs and keeping them out of the hands of someone else who might abuse them.
“They don’t need to get out of their car. No questions asked. Just hand the drugs to the officer or put them in the box right then when they drive through,” Toth said.
There will be at least 11 Mahoning Valley police departments taking part in National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, which is Saturday, October 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.:
- Youngstown State University Police: 226 W. Wood St.
- Liberty Township Police Department: 1315 Churchill-Hubbard Rd.
- Boardman Police Department: 8299 Market St.
- Austintown Police Department: 92 Ohltown Rd.
- Hubbard City Police Department: 233 School St.
- Beaver Police Department: 601 W. South Range Rd., North Lima
- Canfield Police Department: 104 Lisbon St.
- New Middletown Police Department: 10711 Main St.
- Cortland Police Department: 400 N. High St.
- Bazetta Township Police Department: 2671 McCleary Jacoby Rd., Cortland
- Milton Township Police Department: 15992 Milton Ave., Lake Milton