CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Kanawha County Sheriff Johnny Rutherford believes occasional drug drop-offs are not enough to get the bulk of unused pills out of medicine cabinets. The sheriff unveiled a new prescription drug drop-off box at the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office Tuesday afternoon.
“We’ve had the public call in and ask to how get rid of these products,” said Rutherford on 58WCHS Radio. “(Now) they’ll ring a buzzer, the deputy will let them in and help them dispose of the drugs safely.”
The box is located in the Sheriff’s Office on Goshorn Street next to the Kanawha County Courthouse in downtown Charleston. Rutherford said every drug which winds up in that bin is one that doesn’t wind up on the street.
“Our commitment is to the community and our children, trying to keep people safe,” said Rutherford. “This is one way we get to be proactive rather than reactive.”
Other law enforcement agencies across the country have created similar repositories for unused prescription drugs. The disposal can handle pills and liquids and all are disposed of in the proper manner. Rutherford says it’s unsafe for those drugs to sit in a medicine cabinet. They can become a target for thieves or family members. A lot of the drugs sold illegally are taken from family members who were prescribed the pills.
“There’s an environmental aspect too. A lot of these drugs are flushed or put down the sink and that’s not safe for the environment,” the sheriff said. “We’re doing this for public safety, protecting our children, plus it’s good for the environment.”
Rutherford said the entire process can be done anonymously. He said there would be no paperwork to fill out. The drop-off is open Mon-Fri from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.