OVPD offers safe way to dispose of medications

The Ocean View Police Department has installed a permanent drug drop-off box in its lobby to offer the community convenient access to safe drug disposal year-round.

“We put it in about five months ago, as a follow-up to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Drug Take-Back Initiative. Every year we’ve participated in that, we’ve just had an overwhelming response in this area,” explained Ocean View Police Chief Ken McLaughlin. “So we decided to permanently install something there. People drop off their drugs, and then we collect it.”

McLaughlin said that any drug — legal or illegal, prescription or over-the-counter — may be dropped off at the Wallace A. Melson Municipal Building, no questions asked.

“We get all kinds. Obviously, there’s the really bad stuff that we want to get off the street, the narcotics. But, in the past, that has only made up a small portion of what we get. A lot of it is everything from vitamins to diabetes medicine — everything you could imagine. It’s not just like the Oxycodone.”

The OVPD has participated in the Drug Take-Back Initiative for a number of years and has always collected a tremendous amount of drugs to be disposed of in a safe and proper manner.

“A lot of this stuff poses an environmental hazard when it’s simply washed down the toilet or thrown in the trash, so this way it is disposed of responsibly,” McLaughlin noted. “A lot of it becomes dangerous after the expiration date. Some of these medicines can really be harmful to you. If you’ve got something in your medicine cabinet that expired five or 10 years ago, it could be dangerous.

“We want to get that stuff out of the house and get it disposed of properly.”

McLaughlin said that the department usually receives more than 100 pounds of unused drugs during the annual drop-off and will take anything except for syringes. The OVPD securely stores the drugs until they are collected by the DEA.

“What we do, with the next upcoming Take-Back, we box everything up and give it to them, and they dispose of it all,” he said. “It has worked very well. It’s a great concept, I believe. It gets the unwanted, unused medicine out of people’s homes and to a safe place, and ultimately safely destroyed.”

The Ocean View Police Department is located on the first floor of the Wallace A. Melson Municipal Building at 201 Central Avenue in Ocean View. For more information, call (302) 539-1111.