Featuring a logo designed by Liberty High School student Alyssa Piatek, this drug drop box inside the Fallsburg Police Department’s headquarters on 19 Railroad Avenue in South Fallsburg is the first of what local officials hope will be multiple such boxes countywide. Anyone is welcome to dispose of unwanted, unused medication in the box, which ensures the drugs are sent to an incinerator rather than fall into the hands of potential abusers. As the signs say, no needles or liquids are allowed (or general trash), but pills can be dropped here, no questions asked.
Take 'em here
Story by Dan Hust
SOUTH FALLSBURG December 3, 2013 Have drugs you no longer need and don’t know what to do with?
Found drugs that you’re worried may not be legal to possess?
There’s a box for that.
And if the Sullivan County Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force can get the grant funding, more boxes will be popping up across the county.
“We purchased the first drug drop box,” Public Health Services Director Nancy McGraw, a task force member, affirmed.
Thanks to a Rural Health Network grant, it’s located in the Fallsburg Police Station in South Fallsburg, where the drugs can be safely stored and disposed.
And anonymously dropped.
“No questions asked,” said McGraw. “They can even peel off the label.”
“The place is open 24/7,” affirmed Police Chief Simmie Williams. “It’s in our lobby… and we don’t use the cameras to monitor the drug box.”
The task force is determining similar secure locations in which to set up drug dropoffs.
“We have grant funding to buy two or three more,” McGraw said.
The goal is to get these dangerous drugs off the streets and out of the hands of people, young and old, who might abuse them or just as bad, might flush them down a toilet or dump them into an environment ultra-sensitive to their effects.
The program is intended to impact a county with one of the highest drug abuse rates in the state.
To that end, the health network and task force will host “Wasted: Prescription Drug Abuse in Sullivan County,” a forum for medical personnel, this month at Bethel Woods.
For the general public, more Drug Take-Back Days are planned next year. An October 26 version filled up Fallsburg’s box, in fact.
“And it [the box] was well-received even before National Take-Back Day,” said Sullivan County EMS Coordinator and task force member Greg Tavormina, who was instrumental in siting the first box.
“I had this one lady who had bags [of unused prescription medication] for five years,” Chief Williams related. “People are coming in to use it!”
And other counties are paying attention.
“We are actually a model in the state,” McGraw confirmed.
To learn more, contact Sue Clark of the county’s Public Health Services at 292-5910, ext. 2222. Also check out www.projectdrugdrop.com.