The Allen County Sheriff’s Department made a lot of progress Thursday on getting rid of unwanted medication collected during drug take-back days over the last two years.
Officers loaded up a semi with 500 boxes all full of prescription medication. In total it was about 20,000 pounds worth. The medications were collected during the drug take-back days at Walgreens and the permanent locations over the last two years.
A 15 Finds Out investigation last week discovered the department ran into a problem destroying the drugs and the pills started to pile up.
For years, the department had destroyed the drugs at a local incinerator, but two years ago, it couldn’t take them any more because of changes in EPA regulations.
“It’s been a long process to find a facility that met the requirements to incinerate it,” Capt. Steve Stone with the sheriff’s department, said. “Our evidence room sergeant is very happy to finally see it go. As you can imagine, that amount of medication sitting in the evidence room takes up a lot of space.”
The DEA stepped in to help and donated boxes and tape so the bags of medication could be packaged to be transported and destroyed. The semi will take them to a secure location in Indianapolis where they will be incinerated.
“The inconvenience of having the medications that long is well worth the end result and that’s getting it off the streets and getting it incinerated in an environmentally friendly way,” Stone said.
While the drug take-back days put on by the department along with Allen County TRIAD and the Indiana State Police at Walgreens happen twice a year, there are several places people can bring unwanted medication year-round.
Ongoing Collection Sites
(Pills only- NO liquids or needles)
- Indiana State Police post – 5811 Ellison Rd.
- Allen County Sheriff’s Department Huntertown Town Hall
- Fort Wayne police in the lobby of the Ed Rousseau building
- New Haven police – 815 Lincoln Highway East
- Walgreens at Jefferson and Getz (during pharmacy hours)
- Walgreens at Maplecrest and Stellhorn (during pharmacy hours)