NEWS RELEASE: MPD Installs Prescription Drug Dropbox
Residents now have a safe way to dispose of their leftover prescription drugs, a new initiative by Marshall Police Department to help combat the opioid crisis and other prescription drug abuse.
“We are very pleased to offer this service to the community,” said Marshall Police Chief Cliff Carruth. “When residents safely dispose of their prescription drugs, it means fewer drugs that could be abused on the streets.”
The drop box was provided by The Piney Woods Substance Abuse Coalition, a program of Next Step Community Solutions. The program is funded by a grant from Health and Human Services of Texas.
“We are thrilled to be able to work with Marshall PD to install this drop box,” said Rebecca Smith, coalition coordinator for The Piney Woods Substance Abuse Coalition. “We have worked on disposal initiatives all over East Texas, and residents always say they are so happy to have a way to dispose of their prescription drugs. They know leftover drugs can be dangerous and most people want to do the right thing and dispose of them safely.”
The drop box is in the lobby of the police department and is available to the public 24/7, no questions asked. Any pills or sealed patches can be accepted at the drop box. Needles or other sharps, thermometers, ointments, lotions, liquids, inhalers, and aerosols are not accepted.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, from 1999 to 2016, more than 630,000 people have died from a drug overdose. Around 66 percent of the more than 63,600 drug overdose deaths in 2016 involved an opioid. In 2016, the number of overdose deaths involving opioids (including prescription opioids and illegal opioids like heroin and illicitly manufactured fentanyl) was five times higher than in 1999. On average, 115 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose.
The issue of drug availability is worse in East Texas than in other parts of the state. According to the Regional Needs Assessment, which gathers data annually about 23 counties in this area of Texas, “Region 4 is significantly higher overall than the state for total prescriptions per 100K population. Furthermore, no counties in Region 4 have a lower prescribing rate than the state. A higher availability of prescription drugs, especially opioids, will only mean a greater quantity out in the community that has potential for illicit use.”
Youth in East Texas are also abusing prescription drugs at a higher rate than the rest of the state, according to the report.
“By taking responsibility to dispose of your leftover medication, East Texans can turn the tide in this area and prevent future addiction and overdose,” Smith said.
The Marshall Police Department and Piney Woods Substance Abuse Coalition will hold a news conference on Monday, June 18 at 2 p.m. at the Marshall Police Department. The purpose of the conference is to unveil the new prescription drug drop box and answer any questions the general public or media may have for the agencies.
Kelly Colvin Rebecca Smith
Public Information Officer Coordinator
Marshall Police Department Piney Woods Substance Abuse Coalition