As attention turns to the National Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, April 28 sponsored by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA), Joplin officials remind residents that drug take-back boxes are available throughout the year in this area.
All citizens---regardless of residency---have the option to dispose of unused, unwanted, surplus, orphaned and expired prescription and over-the-counter medicines by depositing them in the permanent drug drop-off box located at the Joplin Police Station, 303 East 3rd Street.
Joplin Police Captain Trevor Duncan stated, “As other communities are participating in the National Drug Take Back Day this Saturday, we want to encourage residents to use the permanent drug drop-off box available to them throughout the year. It is available for all residents to use from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.”
There are simple instructions to follow before bringing your medicines to the drop-off box. At home, please take pills out of all bottles, place in a sealed plastic bag, and then deliver sealed bag to the drop-off box. With the remaining empty pill bottles, remove labels or mark through label information, and then dispose of them in the trash or recycling bin. Please note that personal hygiene products and liquid medicine is not accepted at the drop-off box.
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.
Joplin officials with both the Police and Health Departments encourage 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.
According to The Alliance of Southwest Missouri, abuse of prescription drugs is now the leading cause of death in teenagers. One in five teenagers abuse prescription drugs to get high.
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 or your trash hauler. 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, Seneca, Carl Junction, Sarcoxie, Neosho, and Lamar.
For additional information contact Captain Trevor Duncan at 417-623-3131 ext. 600, TDuncan@joplinmo.org; or Mary Anne Phillips, 417-624-0820 ext. 501, MPhillip@joplinmo.org.