City News

Posted on: April 27, 2017

Drug Drop-off Boxes


All citizens---regardless of residency---have the option to dispose of unused, unwanted, surplus, orphaned and expired medicines by depositing them in the permanent drug drop-off box located at the Joplin Police Station. Joplin Police Captain Rusty Rives stated, “As other communities are participating in a one-day national collection event on Saturday, April 29, please note that the drop-off box at the Joplin Police Station is available year round for citizens’ use from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.”

At home, please take pills out of all bottles, place in a sealed plastic bag, and then deliver sealed bag to a drop-off box.  Personal hygiene products and liquid medicine is not accepted. 

This free service is provided by the partnership of The Alliance of Southwest Missouri-Safe Teens Initiative and the City of Joplin.  Police officers will take possession of the drugs placed in the drop-off box and then dispose of them through incineration.  

The Joplin Police Department encourages citizens to routinely clean out their medicine chests and be aware of drugs left behind in refrigerators, drawers, shelves, pantries, vehicles, and handbags---anyplace where children or thieves can gain access. 

Kevin Theilen, Safe Teens Coordinator said, “We are doing everything we can to remove medications from households because abuse of prescription drugs are now the leading cause of death in teenagers.  Unfortunately 12 to 17 year olds abuse prescription drugs more than they abuse ecstasy, crack/cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine combined!”

Mary Anne Phillips, Joplin Recycling Coordinator reported that the drop-off box in Joplin and nearby communities are designed to help prevent poisoning, diversion, theft, and accidents that could potentially harm citizens of all ages through the misuse of prescription medicine.  Phillips added, “It also keeps drugs out of area landfills, waste water treatment plants, and ultimately out of our drinking water.” 

The program does not accept syringes, lancets, needles (also known as sharps), illicit controlled substances (such as marijuana or methamphetamine), or liquid medicine.  For sharps disposal methods, contact the City of Joplin at 624-0820 ext. 501.  If individuals find or desire to surrender an illicit or controlled substance, they should call their local law enforcement agency rather than risk handling or transporting the substances.  Police will respond and handle such materials as abandoned property in accordance with their standard policy. 

Deposits can be made anonymously in the box at the Donald Clark Justice Center, 303 East Third Street from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday except on City designated holidays.  Permanent drop-off boxes are also located at the Jasper County Courthouse in Joplin, the Newton County Sherriff’s Office in Neosho, the McDonald County Sherriff’s Office in Pineville, and police stations in Carthage, Webb City, Carl Junction, Seneca, and Lamar. 

For additional information contact Captain Rusty Rives at 417-623-3131 ext. 639, RRives@joplinmo.org; or Mary Anne Phillips, 417-624-0820 ext. 501, MPhillip@joplinmo.org; or Kevin Theilen at The Alliance, 417-782-9899, KTheilen@theallianceofswmo.org.          

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