Ottawa County residents have had the opportunity to properly dispose of outdated, unwanted and unused medications for the past four years. In the fall of 2010, law enforcement agencies sponsored a Medication Take Back event. This event was a one-day collection held in the spring and fall. During those events 78 pounds of medication were collected. In the fall of 2012, the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office, along with local police departments, worked to create full-time collection drop-offs. Permanent drop-box containers have been available to Ottawa County residents since Oct. 1, 2012. In three months 358 pounds of unwanted medications were collected. In 2013, the program continued to grow and 1,075 pounds of medications were collected from county residents.
Ottawa County residents are encouraged to drop off medications at any of these participating law enforcement agencies, which are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week:
•Danbury Township Police Department, 419 S. Bridge Road, Lakeside-Marblehead, phone: 419-732-2549
•Village of Genoa Police Department, 102 E. Sixth Street, Genoa, phone: 419-855-8515
•Village of Oak Harbor Police Department, 146 Church Street, Oak Harbor, phone: 419-898-2055
•Port Clinton Police Department, 1868 E. Perry Street, Port Clinton, phone: 419-734-3121
The four police departments received a grant from the OSS Solid Waste District’s Competitive Funding Grant Program. The grant program offers opportunities to fund recycling service and recycled content products for governmental agencies, schools and non-profit organizations in the three county District. The police departments in Danbury Township, Village of Genoa, Village of Oak Harbor, and City of Port Clinton each received funding to purchase the steel box that is placed in each of their department’s lobby for residents to drop off their unwanted medications.
Outdated or unused medications that may be disposed of in the drop-boxes include: prescription and over-the-counter medications, medication samples, narcotics (controlled substances), vitamins and inhalers. Residents are asked to keep medications in their original containers. Names and personal information should be crossed off or removed before dropping off. Please do not dispose of medical syringes/needles or illicit drugs in the permanent drop-boxes.
The sheriff’s office and police departments are also working with the OSS Solid Waste District, Ottawa County Health Department and representatives from Magruder Hospital to help publicize the proper handling of unwanted or expired medications.
Ottawa County Sheriff, Steve Levorchick, along with local police chiefs, believes the full-time drop-boxes continue to have a positive impact on the communities throughout Ottawa County. “Many residents and their families are at a loss of where to dispose of unwanted and unused medication,” said Levorchick. “The law enforcement community of Ottawa County, in partnership with OSS Joint Solid Waste District, has the opportunity to provide the means for our citizens to dispose of that medication properly.”
According to the DEA, the most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows prescription medicines to be the most abused drugs by Americans other than marijuana. Almost three-fourths of teen prescription drug abusers get the drugs from family and friends. The home medicine cabinet is a major source. These medications should not be thrown in the trash where others can find them. It is equally important to dispose of your medications once they are no longer needed for the illness for which they were prescribed. People should not use medications containing controlled substances outside of a doctor’s care. These medications should only be used by those individuals for whom they were prescribed.
For more information, contact the local police departments listed above.