Prescription Drug Box Installed at Sheriff’s Department

Sheriff's Drug Box

Providing a drug box for a community is a step in substance abuse prevention. So, In cooperation with local and State agencies, the Sheriff’s Department has recently installed a drug box in the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department.
This receptacle is being made available to the public, and is “ready for business.” Folks can now bring any unwanted medications and simply drop them in. At that point, they will be properly disposed of, and most importantly, avoid any possibility of them making their way to the streets.

”We are excited about giving the residents of our county another location to safely dispose of prescription medications,” said Sheriff Jeff Coffey.

Tommy Farmer, a Special Agent with the TBI’s Dangerous Drug Task Force explains the importance of the preventive measure of drug take backs “Yes, pill take back participation is where more is better, and judging by the numbers, we are doing extremely well. For example, the program now has more than 267 collection bins across the state. With participation like your community, across the state, the success is demonstrated by the more than 48,000 pounds of pharmaceuticals collected in 2018 thus far, with another approximately 23,000 from the upcoming DEA National Take Back Event, brings the total since the inception of the program in April 2016 to over 350,000 pounds. That is a lot of drugs, controlled and non-controlled substances, prevented from being diverted.”

Drug take backs are a part of the prevention strategies that are being implemented by the DEA, local law enforcement and county coalitions to help decrease our opioid epidemic.

“We started out with Dandridge Police Department having our first box. Then, Jefferson City worked on their own to get a drug box in place,” shares Jefferson County’s Substance Abuse Coalition Director, Rev. Debra Shultz. “Baneberry had a box, and ended up surrendering it to White Pine Police Department.”
Chad Cotter, Chief of Police in White Pine, added, “With all the pill drop boxes located throughout the county, now local law enforcement agencies, along with rescue 180, are asking the community to use the boxes and dispose of your medication the correct way.”

“Having these boxes, and conducting regular drug take backs truly is an effective evidence-based strategy in prevention. Having a drug box centrally located at the Sheriff’s Department is a great asset to any county, and accelerates the strategy to remove unwanted prescription medications from our streets and homes.”

One of the goals of a local substance abuse coalition is to provide prevention education, as well as, to build prevention structures for their community. Jefferson County has two Board certified Prevention Specialists on staff at Rescue 180: Executive Director/CEO Rev.Debra Shultz and Assistant Director, Keith Shultz.
In Jefferson County, Rescue 180 is working to collaborate with other organizations in order to provide effective preventive services that will make a difference in drug overdoses, crime, and any negative consequences that surround drug activity and abuse.

According to the TNCertification.Org web site, Certification as a Prevention Specialist is based on internationally adopted professional standards established by the International Certification & Reciprocity Consortium (IC&RC).
”Many do not understand the importance of having a Prevention specialist in their community,” shares assistant Director Keith Shultz.

IC&RC defines prevention as a pro-active process of helping individuals, families and communities to develop the resources needed to develop and maintain healthy lifestyles. Prevention focuses upon the development of innovative programs and carefully planned interventions that are implemented before the onset of physical, psychological, emotional or social problems.

Prevention is broad based in the sense that it is intended to alleviate a wide range of at-risk behaviors including, but not limited to, alcohol, tobacco and other drug abuse, crime and delinquency, violence, vandalism, mental health problems, family conflict, parenting problems, stress and burnout, child abuse, learning problems, school failure, school dropouts, teenage pregnancy, depression and suicide.

“The coalition is here to network with any and every organization who is working to maintain a healthy environment for their community,” shares Debra Shultz.

Shultz says the coalition has been working with local law enforcement, as well as the DEA, for 10 years to implement the prevention strategy of having regular drug take backs in Jefferson County.

According to studies, drug receptacles and drug take backs are saving lives.
*Statistics show the over half of teens get their drugs from home medicine cabinets
* Home medicine cabinets have become the new drug dealer
* Drug overdoses are now surpassing car crashes in some states.
* Over 20% of high school students have taken prescription meds for non medical reasons.
* It takes only 5 days of using opioids to get addicted.
* A majority of heroin users begin by using opioids obtained due to accessibility.

Carson Williams, Chief of Police in Dandridge, concludes, “The Dandridge Police Department is committed to keeping unused medication from ending up where they are a danger to our children, on the streets being sold by drug dealers or in our wastewater treatment plants damaging our environment. Please safely dispose of all unused medication, whether by using our installed drug boxes, or by participating in our semi-annual drug take back events.”

Source: Debra Shultz, Rescue 180