April 4, 2018 at 5:30 p.m.

Sheriff tightens drug take-back program after mishaps

By From Judy Jackson-

Press release

In an effort to increase safety for the public and for sheriff's office personnel, Sheriff Matt Myers has implemented changes, which will take effect immediately, to the Bartholomew County Sheriff's Department Drug Take Back Program.

Under the popular program, residents who want to dispose of outdated and/or unused prescription drugs have been encouraged to drop them off at the sheriff's office's front desk.

"The intent of this program is admirable, however, recently an employee was 'stuck' with an improperly secured needle that was dropped into the Take Back Box," Myers said. "This validates that current procedures, used since the program's inception several years ago, are no longer working."

Personnel have also found fentanyl patches in the Take Back Box, Myers said. Fentanyl is an adhesive patch that delivers a potent pain medicine through the skin that can cause severe breathing problems and can even lead to death to those who have not been prescribed the medicine.

"Even after a fentanyl patch is used, medicine remains in the patch and dropping this powerful, dangerous narcotic into our Take Back Drop Box puts my employees at risk," Myers said.

Until the department finds a better way to secure these items, the Sheriff's Office will host quarterly take back days. In addition, they will no longer accept medications from businesses -- like pharmacies. These businesses should properly manage their drug waste under federal and state hazardous waste regulations. 

"I would like to provide a convenient means for Bartholomew County residents to dispose of unused/outdated drugs but it is my responsibility to make sure BCSO employees are not at risk," Myers said. "...It is imperative that this program be tightened up and these changes will make that happen."[[In-content Ad]]