Two area communities received permanent drop boxes for safe prescription drug disposal from the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics.
The Hulbert Police Department, in collaboration with Reaching Our Hulbert Community (ROHC), and the Fort Gibson Police Department each received a container.
The drop box in Fort Gibson will be available to the public at the Police Department.
The prescription drug collection container in Hulbert is located in the HPD/HPWA Office and is available to the public from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Citizens can dispose of their unused prescription medications in the secure box without any interaction with law enforcement.
“Prescription drug abuse is a growing epidemic in Oklahoma, which was ranked as the number one state in prescription drug abuse last year,” said Shasta Teague, ROHC. “Statistics show that most abused prescription drugs come from family and friends. You could be a dealer and not even know it.”
Last September ROHC, along with NEO Health and Hulbert Police Department took action and hosted Hulbert’s first Take Back event, collecting 19 pounds of unused medicines. The goal was to educate the community about the risks of prescription and over-the-counter medications and help people in the Hulbert area properly dispose of unused medications in a safe way.
Unused medications thrown in the trash can be retrieved and abused or illegally sold; and unused drugs that are flushed contaminate the water supply. While planning this event, members of ROHC and community leaders decided to work on a long-term solution to the problem, making plans to provide a permanent container available in Hulbert.
There are now 129 such deposit boxes across the state. The contents, collected every seven to 10 days, are shipped as trash to clean energy company Covanta, who convert the waste into usable fuel.