A new drop-off box has been installed next to the Laguna Beach Police Station where residents can get rid of old or excess prescription or over-the-counter medications.
The box stems from a campaign forged by members of the Laguna Beach High School Prescription Drug Awareness Club, which has worked to reduce the supply of drugs that can potentially harm teens and adults.
In a statement, the Laguna Beach Police Department reports that in Orange County, "teen prescription drug abuse is even higher than national trends. 17% of 11th grade students report having used prescription painkillers for non-medical use at least once in their lifetime. The availability of these unused prescriptions adds to the drug abuse problem.
"More than 70% of young people abusing prescription pain relievers get them through friends or family, a statistic that includes raiding the family medicine cabinet. Properly disposing of excess drugs is everyone’s responsibility as a matter of public safety. Now Laguna Beach citizens won’t have to wait for a specific take back day to clean out their medicine cabinets."
Also, many people flush their old meds instead of tossing them in the trash, which means they eventually wind up in the ocean. So the box would also seem to be beneficial for the environment.
But what about security? What's there to stop somebody from trying to break into the box and grabbing armfuls of dangerous, potentially fatal pills?
Capt. Jason Kravetz of the LBPD has an answer.
"It is highly unlikely an arm can be stuck into the box -- I tried," Kravetz tells Patch. "It is built with many different security features which prevent someone from gaining access. The lock is tamper proof. It also cannot be cut off because of a design feature. We have securely attached the box to a concrete pad and it is just outside the front door and window of the Watch Commander."
The collection site is open seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Drugs can be dropped off with no questions asked. The collection box is located in front of the police department just west of the front door.