Officials urging Ector County residents to use medication drop boxes

Officials urging Ector County residents to use medication drop boxes

ODESSA, TX (KWES) - Getting prescription drugs off the streets and out of the wrong hands.

"If you're not using them for the reason it was prescribed, its abuse," said Sara Tomlinson, Coalition Coordinator for Here 2 Impact Ector County.

That Tomlinson and others with the Permian Basin Regional Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse hope the medication boxes found at the Ector County Sheriff's Office and Odessa Police department does for the community.

"The reason we have them is so people don't flush them down the toilet, don't send them down the sink, and people don't come in and steal them," said Tomlinson.

Tomlinson and the Region 9 Prevention Resource Center looked at stats from The Texas Prescription Monitoring Program showed that in 2015 over 92,000 Schedule ii (Vicodin, Oxycontin) and iii drugs (Steroids, Testosterone) were prescribed under Medicare in Ector County. With the population sitting at 159,436 in 2015, Tomlinson says that's close to one high grade painkiller for every one person.

"If you go to the dentist and you get your tooth pulled and you only use a couple of those painkillers, don't keep them around for your next injury. Get rid of them," said Tomlinson.

Tomlinson said so far the medication boxes have been working.

"A month that we've been doing this we've already collected a pound of just opioids. It doesn't sound like a lot but a pound of medication is 882 pills approximately," said Tomlinson.

The boxes have been at OPD and the Sheriff's office for the last few years. With the goal to make sure the drugs are disposed of properly.

"We don't want it to get into the wrong hands," said Tomlinson.

The boxes are open to the public at OPD 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and at the Ector County Sheriff's Office from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

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