Drop-off boxes for drugs to be available 24-7 in Lucas Co.

3 boxes at Toledo police stations, 2 at university

Toledo police officer Robert D’Agostino checks the drug drop-off box in the foyer of the Safety Building downtown on Erie Street.
Toledo police officer Robert D’Agostino checks the drug drop-off box in the foyer of the Safety Building downtown on Erie Street.

Five prescription-drug drop-off locations are now open for the public to use 24 hours a day.

The white metal drop-off boxes are at the Safety Building, 525 N. Erie St.; Scott Park District Station, 2301 Nebraska Ave.; Northwest District Station, 2330 W. Sylvania Ave.; the University of Toledo Medical Center emergency room, 3065 Arlington Ave.; and the University of Toledo police station, 1515 S. Towerview Blvd.

Another drop-off location soon will be added at the Lucas County Coroner’s Office, 2595 Arlington Ave.

“We want to make it safe and easy for the community,” Toledo police Sgt. Ed Mack said.

Before Wednesday’s announcement, the only permanent drop-off location was in Sylvania. In lieu of a permanent drop-off location, police departments and other health agencies in the city and county previously have hosted annual one-day drug drop offs.

Offering a daily option could cut down on the number of accidental overdoses of children, eliminate supply for drug addicts, lessen the environmental impact of flushing or throwing away medication, and keep people from using expired drugs, said Larry Vasko, the deputy health commissioner of the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department.

All solid drugs — pills, capsules, patches, and pet medications — can be deposited into the boxes. Aerosol cans, including inhalers, syringes, ointments, and liquids cannot be left.

The city paid for two of its boxes, which cost about $900 each. Another was obtained with grant money from the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators. The University of Toledo also paid for its boxes, Sergeant Mack said.

Sergeant Mack said that, although the public unveiling was Wednesday, news reports on Tuesday prompted some to discard drugs then.

On Wednesday, he emptied more than three pounds of drugs from the drop box at Scott Park.

Sergeant Mack and others who work in the department’s property management section will be responsible for checking the boxes and emptying them.

The drugs will then be treated like any other drugs booked into the property room — logged and locked away until a court order is sought to have them incinerated.

Sergeant Mack said the department destroys drugs about five times a year.

All drop-offs are anonymous. The department said it won’t trace where the medications came from. The boxes are locked and bolted so nothing can be illegally taken from them.

Contact Taylor Dungjen at tdungjen@theblade.com, or 419-724-6054, or on Twitter @taylordungjen.