Bartholomew County Sheriff Matt Myers has announced changes to the department’s Drug Take Back Program. He says these changes are being put in place in an effort to increase safety for the public and for Sheriff’s Office personnel.
Sheriff Myers says that the program is very popular. Previously, residents wanting to dispose of outdated and/or unused prescription drugs have done so by dropping them off at the Sheriff’s Office’s front desk.
“The intent of this program is admirable,” said the Sheriff. “However,” he continued, “an employee was ‘stuck’ with an improperly secured needle that was dropped into the Take Back Box”. Myers says this incident shows him that current procedures, used since the program’s inception several years ago, are no longer working.
Sheriff Myers went on to say that Sheriff’s Office personnel have also found fentanyl patches in the Drop-Off Box. Fentanyl is an adhesive patch that delivers a potent pain medicine through the skin that can cause severe breathing problems, and even death, to those who have not been prescribed the medicine. “Even after a fentanyl patch is used, medicine remains in the patch and dropping this powerful, dangerous narcotic into our Take Back Drop Box puts my employees at risk”, said Myers.
Sheriff Myers says that Until he, and his administrative team, can find a better way to secure these items, the Sheriff’s Office will host quarterly take back days. “In addition,” said Myers, “we will no longer accept medications from businesses, like pharmacies.” He says that these businesses should properly manage their drug waste under federal and state hazardous waste regulations.
“I would like to provide a convenient means for Bartholomew County residents to dispose of unused/outdated drugs, but it is my responsibility to make sure BCSO employees are not at risk,” said Myers. “I am confident that we can find a secure, safe solution for us to continue to make drug drop-offs convenient to the public and safe for employees,” he added. “Until then, we will accept unused and/or outdated drugs on a quarterly basis and we will no longer accept any medications from businesses. “It is imperative that this program be tightened up and these changes will make that happen,” said the Sheriff.