A new drug take-back box is available to the public outside the John Day Dispatch Center.
A former Blue Mountain Eagle newspaper box, retrofitted and painted by John Day Police Sgt. Damon Rand, sits outside the door by the dispatch center, 450 E. Main St., John Day. The box is secure and monitored day and night by security cameras at the center.
The effort, sponsored by the police department and Grant County Safe Communities Coalition, is aimed at keeping dangerous, addictive drugs out of the wrong hands, reducing the drug diversion and abuse.
“The ease of access for the community is a huge benefit,” Safe Communities Coalition Director Russ Comer said.
Collected drugs are sent to the DEA for incineration as part of a national program. Incineration is a better way to dispose of medications because throwing them in the trash or down the toilet can eventually pollute the water supply, according to Comer.
Nationally, over the life of the program, 7.1 million pounds of prescription drugs have been removed from medicine cabinets, kitchen drawers and nightstands by citizens around the country, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency.
“Take back programs offer a safe, simple, and anonymous way to keep dangerous prescription drugs out of the wrong hands and prevent substance abuse,” said Chuck Rosenberg, acting DEA administrator.