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Community responds to Richmond County sheriff's prescription drop box

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When Richmond County sheriff’s Sgt. Allan Rollins opened the department’s new prescription drug drop box Wednesday morning, he was shocked at the response from the community.

Investigator Erik Williams takes inventory of prescription drugs that had been dropped into a metal box at the Richmond County Sheriff's Office. He estimates that more than a thousand pills were dropped off in a week.   EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
Investigator Erik Williams takes inventory of prescription drugs that had been dropped into a metal box at the Richmond County Sheriff's Office. He estimates that more than a thousand pills were dropped off in a week.


After only one week, he didn’t expect to see much there, but it was full.

“I’m not sure you could have put anything else in it,” Rollins said. “It was actually unbelievable to us.”

The prescription drop box provided free by the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators has been available in the lobby of the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, 400 Walton Way, for about a week. The box provides a way for residents to get rid of unused or expired prescription drugs without fear of the drugs reaching the streets or damaging sewers or septic systems.

Rollins said sheriff’s officials were skeptical of starting collections when the association approached them, but agreed after they were told the box was free. All the sheriff’s office would need to do was file the paperwork.

Now Rollins said he knows it was a good idea to add the box to their existing drug collection operations through the Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Take-Back Initiative. Prescription drug abuse has been growing in Richmond County, and investigators hope the collection box will help those numbers drop.

Investigator Erik Williams, who collected the drugs from the box, estimated they had several thousand pills.

“Each one of these are like 60 pills,” he said holding up one of the medium-size pill bottles, “and there’s a ton of them.”

The box contained everything from hard prescription drugs to prescription foot cream and multivitamins.

“Anything they want to bring, we’ll sort through it and dispose of it,” Rollins said.

The box will be available for drop-offs during normal business hours. It will be emptied every day and the drugs properly disposed of.


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