Brian Peteritas is a GOVERNING contributor.E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Faced with a growing prescription drug abuse problem, particularly in the southern half of the state, Ohio has launched a new pilot program to address the issue. The Attorney General's Office has partnered with the Ohio Department of Health and the Drug Free Action Alliance to install 75 drop boxes in police stations. The boxes are secure mailbox-style disposal bins that residents can simply walk up to and place their unused or expired prescription drugs inside of during normal police station hours. Previously, the state only provided residents with occasional drop off days a few times a year, which allowed for an increased possibility that dangerous drugs could be abused. The state will be purchasing the boxes at a cost of $800 apiece from the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators and law enforcement agencies in the 24 counties targeted by the pilot program can apply to receive a box at no cost to them. In order to handle the increased volume of turned-in medication, the state will also purchase three portable incinerators to properly destroy drugs once they've been collected. If the pilot program is successful, it could later be rolled out statewide.