The Norwalk Police Department, in collaboration with the Monroe County Safe Community Coalition, has installed a mediation drop-box in the lobby of the Norwalk Village Hall.
The box is located at 208 S. Church St. and was funded through a Drug Free Community grant and a State Targeted Response grant.
“We are very pleased to offer this service to the community,” said Norwalk Police chief Dave Jones. “When residents safely dispose of their prescription drugs, it means fewer drugs that could be abused on the streets.”
Police officers will check the boxes regularly, collect the contents and prepare for disposal that is eco-friendly and in accordance with federal and state laws.
“Residents can drop off unused or expired prescriptions and over-the-counter medications − no questions asked,” said Natalie Carlisle, Drug Free Communities coordinator. “The goals of this program are to keep drugs off the street, prevent overdoses and accidental poisonings and avoid environmental contamination.
Carlisle said items that can be placed in the secure drug drop box include non-narcotics, narcotics, over the counter, herbal and veterinary medications. She said items that should not be placed in the box include needles or sharps, inhalers, biohazard materials and illegal drugs.”
She said the program not only helps to protect the environment, it can also deter the usage of prescription drugs by unintended parties, including young people facing peer pressure and new ways to “get high.”
“People need to be very cognizant of the security of their medications,” Carlisle said. “Misuse of prescription drugs is very dangerous, and can lead to very tragic circumstances. Our program is geared to keeping prescription drugs out of the hands of the wrong people, particularly our youth.”
Carlisle it’s not acceptable to leave medications accessible in the medicine cabinet, nor is it enough to simply “hide” them. The Monroe County Safe Community Coalition also offers free medication lock boxes or bags for those wishing to lock up their medications in their homes.
“We are pleased to work with the numerous law enforcement departments to help provide access to safe medication disposal sites in Monroe County as part of our coalition’s commitment to helping prevent and address prescription drug abuse and misuse. I am very excited to have a sixth drop box in Monroe County,” Carlisle said.
The Norwalk Police Department, along with other police departments in the county, has been active in the national medication take back days within the last several years. Countywide, over 9000 pounds of medication have been disposed of since 2011.
For more information, to get a free medication lock box or bag, or to see locations of the other drop boxes in the county, go to mcsafecommunities.org or contact Carlisle at 608-269-2391.