The Highland County Drug Abuse Prevention Coalition unveiled the new Med Collect boxes on Wednesday. There will be four new boxes in the county at Corner Pharmacy in Greenfield, Downtown Drug in Hillsboro, the Highland County Sheriff’s Office in Hillsboro and Kratzer’s Hometown Pharmacy in Lynchburg.
Nik Beatty, head pharmacist for Downtown Drug in Hillsboro, said the Med Collect boxes are better for the environment and community because they don’t involve flushing medication down the toilet or putting it in the trash.
Jeff Meyer, the chair of the prevention committee, said people need to make sure they don’t put any liquid or needles into the boxes, and pills can stay inside of their bottle.
Meyer said the committee previously realized the county only had one box, which was at the sheriff’s office, and that “some people were hesitant” to go there to dispose of medication. He said the committee then started a program where it tried to raise money for more boxes, especially in Greenfield and Lynchburg.
Bill Showman, manager of prevention and evaluation services at the Paint Valley Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health (ADAMH) Board, said the new boxes are thanks to a Strategic Prevention Framework Grant. He also said the Highland County Drug Abuse Prevention Coalition worked with the Paint Valley ADAMH Board to make sure the boxes got delivered to the community. Showman said the boxes were paid for by an Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services and HRSA RCORP Grant.
Meyer said the organization is also funded to have a professional company take the box and destroy its contents instead of law enforcement, which was previously destroying the medication.
“I think it just makes more awareness in the community because we’ve always been talking for the past four or five years about the problems we have with medication occasionally getting in the hands of grandkids or children,” Meyer said. “It’s mainly just community awareness. That people realize that ‘Wow, if there’s a safe place to dispose it then there must be an issue of having it there.’”
Beatty said the boxes are another chance to talk to people and provide all of its services to help better the community’s health. He also said he gets calls all the time about taking drugs back, which will now allow him to say to “bring them on in.”
Creed Culbreath, president of the Highland County Drug Abuse Prevention Coalition, said he thinks the boxes are a “great accomplishment” for the community, the coalition, and partnership with the businesses and the government.
“But what I think is really significant is this is something that, really, every citizen or business who pays taxes has had a part in this,” Culbreath said. “Because that’s the origin of the funds that paid for these boxes that will keep chemicals out of the wrong distribution channels as well as out of landfills, aquifers, municipal water supplies and so on. In sum, I feel great.”
Reach Jacob Clary at 937-402-2570.