NORTH LEWISBURG – More than six pounds of prescription drugs were collected in North Lewisburg last weekend as part of a collaborative effort of local agencies.
The village collected 6.4 pounds of prescription pills Saturday during a drug “takeback” event held at the municipal building. The purpose of the event was to address problems of prescription drug abuse and drug misuse as well as medications becoming part of the village’s waste stream.
Saturday’s event was a collaborative effort of the village, Champaign County Sheriff’s Office, county Prosecutor’s Office and county Health District.
North Lewisburg Village Administrator Andy Yoder said the idea for the village drop-off day started a few years ago at a health district advisory council meeting. During a conversation about drugs, Yoder said the village would be willing to host a drug take back day.
This led to conversations among the village, sheriff’s office, prosecutor’s office and health district and eventually a drop-off day. The village held a drug take back day last year where over 22 pounds of prescription drugs were dropped off.
“All of the people that were involved (the health district, prosecutor’s office and sheriff’s office) are in some way, shape or form dealing with the abuse of medications and/or narcotics,” Yoder said. “We as a village see it every now and then with some of our local residents so everybody involved kind of has a dog in the fight.”
Yoder said residents who have prescription pills can be a target of theft.
“Since we don’t have our own law enforcement like Mechanicsburg, St. Paris and Urbana, we don’t have a drug dropbox like those other communities have,” Yoder said. “The only way to do it is either our people have to travel to get rid of this stuff or we do what we did which was get everybody together and kind of declare a day and advertise and get the word out as best as we can and remove as much of the temptation as we can.”
While the amount of pills collected was down from 2015, Yoder said anytime an opportunity to dispose of these materials is presented it is beneficial to the community. Moving forward, he said he hopes this can be an annual event that can tie in with the village’s annual clean-up week.
Champaign County Sheriff Capt. Dave Rapp said unwanted prescription pills can be dropped off at the main lobby of the department’s 308 Miami St., office. Prohibited items include needles, syringes and any type of liquids.
Nick Walton can be reached at 937-652-1331 Ext. 1777 or on Twitter @UDCWalton.