Claremore Daily Progress

March 15, 2013

Catoosa Police receive county’s 4th prescription take back container

Mark Friedel
Staff Reporter

CATOOSA — The Catoosa Police Department recently requested   a pharmaceutical take-back container for unused prescription medications. The container allows residents to drop off medication in a safe, effective manner, reducing the chances of the drugs getting into the wrong hands.

Catoosa Police Chief Kevin Mckim was informed of the delivery two weeks ago from  Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics Chief Agent of Diversion Melton Edminsten.
“When Mr. Edminston announced that we were receiving a ‘drop box,’ I was thrilled,” said McKim. “OBN ran out of (containers) and needed to order more so it was about a three to four month long waiting period.”
McKim said he first heard about the “drop boxes” from Rogers County Youth Services and decided to send a request to OBN after receiving many residential calls regarding safe medication disposal for elderly family members’ medication.
“It works out well for Catoosa residents and the department,” said McKim. “I don’t have to inventory any of the meds or have them transported anywhere. OBN agents take care of it all.”
Catoosa’s lobby is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. 
McKim said if a resident needs to drop off meds after hours they can call the non-emergency phone number and an available officer or employee will let them in.
“The goal is to provide as many convenient ‘dropbox’ locations to minimize commutes for those who need to drop off unused meds,” said OBN Director R. Darrell Weaver. “We have 128 locations statewide to simply reduce supply. We don’t want people to flush them obviously because of the harmful effects on fish and wildlife, not to mention what it may do to our drinking water.”
Weaver said our OBN agents pick up the full boxes, weigh the supply and then take the medication to Covanta Energy plant in Tulsa to be recycled into useful energy.
“This is something our state should be very proud of,” said Weaver,. “Even if we just save one person’s life, we feel we’re making a difference.”
Weaver said other cities outside of Oklahoma offer similar programs but none are offered statewide.
“Other states are looking at what we’re doing and they are getting excited.”
The Rogers County Prescription Drug Task Force is planning to request a fifth dropbox for Rogers County in the near future. Current locations include-Chelsea Police Department, Rogers County Sheriff’s Office, Claremore Police Department and now Chelsea Police Department. 
“As part of the Healthy Community Partnership, the coalition works to reduce growing opioid deaths within Rogers County,” said RX Task Force Preventionist Teresa Carnes.
According to information from the OBN Oklahoma is ranked number one in prescription drug abuse and overdose deaths.
Currently, members are gathering data from pharmacies, agencies and hospices to determine if directors need or use prescription lock boxes. In addition, the task force is distributing flyers and brochures, providing information about the coalition and ways others can help build awareness about the prescription drug abuse epidemic. 
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