Drop-off box for unused drugs set up at sheriff’s office

You can now discard your leftover prescription drugs safely five days per week in the lobby of the Mille Lacs County Sheriff’s Office in Milaca.

Sheriff Brent Lindgren and the Mille Lacs County Public Health Service have collaborated to set up a prescription drug drop-off container in the Sheriff’s Office for use 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday each week.

The drop-off box is shaped like a U.S. mail drop box, except it is green instead of  blue.

Lindgren has been working with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration for several years to collect unwanted prescriptions through an annual drug take-back program. Lindgren told the Mille Lacs County Board Nov. 19 how he has seen upwards of 200 pounds of unwanted prescription drugs turned in during those annual drug-disposal days.

“We feel this is important,” Lindgren said about the opportunity now to drop off the unwanted prescription medications daily during the week. Now it will be easier to avoid unused drugs accumulating at a residence where children could get into them or someone urged on by peers at school might take the drugs, Lindgren added. He mentioned a rash of cases one time in Morrison County of drug thefts from homes.

Also, by making it more convenient to properly dispose of the unwanted medications, people are less apt to pollute the environment by flushing them down a toilet or drain or throwing them into a waste container headed for a landfill, Lindgren said.

Lindgren noted that he will take the medications collected in the drop box, along with drugs collected as evidence that has gone through court, and dispose of them together through incineration.

Law enforcement agencies have reported rising cases of unauthorized use of prescription drugs in recent years and have cautioned people about how they are securing these drugs in their home.