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St. Clair Police Department introduces drop-box for old prescription medications

Cpl. Don Ennis discusses the SCPD's new prescription drop-off program.

By Jim Bloch

What should you do with your old prescription drugs?

Survivalists might stockpile them for one or more end-of-the-world scenarios.

Other people fear that their children or grandchildren might find them and mistake them for M&Ms. They could flush them down the toilet, but hydrological researchers have found dozens of chemicals used in pharmaceuticals in lake and river water.

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Now there is a big red box in the central corridor of St. Clair City Hall.

“It’s a prescription drop off box,” said St. Clair Police Department Corporal Don Ennis, addressing city council at its regular meeting March 2. “Working the day shift here for the past four or five years, a lot of people have come in and wanted to drop off their (old) prescription medications and we’ve had to turn them away.”

Ennis wanted a better outcome than that.

“I did some research and found that CVS donates boxes to local police departments so we can use them for our local citizens,” Ennis said. “We’ve had that box about three weeks now. We’ve got about five pounds of medication that people have dropped off. Obviously, those are medications that are not going back to the street. It’s not getting into the hands of kids, grandchildren. It’s not going down the sewer into our water system. It’s not going to the landfill. So for the first three weeks, this program has been very successful.”

What kind of drugs are accepted in the drop-off box?

“For the most part, dry pills, animal medication, patches,” said Ennis. “We don’t take syringes or aerosol cans or any liquids.”

The SCPD is located inside St. Clair City Hall, 547 N. Carney Drive, St. Clair. For details, call 810-329-5710.

National Drug Take-Back Day

“We are also going to take part in a National Drug Take-Back Day, which is this April 25,” said Ennis. “We team up with Drug Enforcement Agency. So once we collect all of our pills on April 25, we simply go to our local DEA office and just dispose of all the medication there. It’s great because they’ll dispose of all the medication for free and obviously CVS has given us the box for free. This is a great asset for our community and we encourage people to use it.”

According to the Diversion Control Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is Saturday, April 25, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. It will be the 19th annual edition of the event.

“The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications,” says the DOJ on its website.

“Good job,” said council member Tom McCartney.

“Keep up the good work, Donnie,” said Mayor Bill Cedar.

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