By Jeff Noble, Staff Writer
Something new is now inside the lobby of the Corbin Police Department, and officials hope the big box will take a big bite out of a major crime problem — those people searching in other people’s homes and looking for prescription drugs.
The large green pill drop box is easy to spot as you enter the lobby. Located near the door where officers enter to talk with people waiting outside, the official name of the box is a drug collection unit, made by MedReturn.
Corbin Police say the drop box is always under camera surveillance and is accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They also stress that anyone using the drop box shouldn’t be afraid of being charged with a drug crime using the new drop box.
Public Affairs Officer Maj. Rob Jones said Tuesday the idea is for people in the city to have a place they can properly dispose of their prescription medications that are either unused or have expired.
“The abuse of prescription medication is the most prevalent drug crime in our community today. Unlawful possession of prescription narcotics is now more common than possession of marijuana, and a large majority of home invasions are the result of people solely looking for prescription drugs,” Jones said in a news release.
The pill box clearly states what is and isn’t accepted inside. Accepted are prescriptions, prescription patches, prescription medications and prescription ointments. Also accepted in the big green machine are over-the-counter medications, vitamins, samples of medications and medications for pets.
What isn’t accepted are hypodermic needles, thermometers, medications from businesses or clinics, biohazard materials and aerosol cans. Also not accepted are ointments, lotions and liquids, along with hydrogen peroxide and inhalers.
Jones pointed out the drop box helps to keep prescription medicine away from children, and away from the city’s water supply, adding that flushing meds down the toilet is not a responsible way to properly dispose of them.
“The Corbin Police Department does however request that you remove or blackout your personal information before your old medications are put in the drop box.”
Jones noted the pill drop box came from a federal grant received by the Corbin Community Coalition, with Megan Davenport and Mark Daniels of the Corbin Independent Board of Education instrumental in getting the box installed at police headquarters. The coalition is a group of community members working together to build a safe and healthy environment to prevent youth substance abuse in the Corbin and Tri-County.
With the drop box now in Corbin, all four cities in the region have access to a prescription pill box on a regular basis. One such box was installed inside the London Police station on Main Street last June, while a second box was placed a month later inside the lobby of the Knox County Sheriff’s Office in Barbourville. In September 2012, a third prescription drop box was placed at Williamsburg City Hall.