SOUTH FORK— The South Fork Police Department in partnership with the Rio Grande Public Health has started a prescription drug drop-off location beginning on Saturday, Oct. 28.
Plans for the drop-off location have been underway for several weeks as officials worked together to figure out the best way to offer a safe and secure location for people to dispose of their unused prescription medications. According to South Fork Police Chief Don McDonald, the first day of the drop off ended up being very successful. “We had a lot of people bring their prescription drugs to the lockbox on Saturday, so we are off to a great start,” said McDonald.
The program was first introduced earlier in the year by Rio Grande Public Health Director Emily Brown who gave a small presentation to the Rio Grande County Commissioners. Brown explained that she had been working nonstop for several months to get organizations like the South Fork Police Department involved in the program, but that McDonald was the only one to respond with a willingness to take a drop box. According to McDonald, his department is the only drop-off location in the county, with hope that more will follow his example.
“We are going to collect year-round. People can bring their prescriptions to us Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or on the weekends whenever someone is in the office. The lockbox will remain in the office for security purposes and that way someone will be on hand to help people dispose of their unwanted or unneeded medications,” explained McDonald.
There is a nation-wide effort to offer more drop-off locations like the one in South Fork to help minimize the use of prescription drugs. McDonald and Brown have worked for nearly a year to make the drop-off location a reality and want the rest of the Valley to follow suit. “We are so glad to be able to offer this service, and we hope the rest of the Valley will jump on board,” said McDonald.
Brown is currently looking for organizations or law enforcement officials to help control other boxes throughout the county. For security and safety reasons, the boxes have to be under the control of an actual person to help alleviate the temptation of theft. Once the prescriptions have been placed inside the lockbox, the department or organization would then transport the drugs to a secure location where they can be destroyed.
For more information or to schedule a time to drop off medications, please call 873-1040 or stop by the department during business hours, located in the South Fork Town Hall on the corner of Highway 149 and 160.