Tyler ISD students build drop boxes for unused prescription drug - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Tyler ISD students build drop boxes for unused prescription drugs

Two completed prescription drug drop boxes. Two completed prescription drug drop boxes.
Tyler ISD welding students building prescription drug drop boxes. Tyler ISD welding students building prescription drug drop boxes.
TYLER, TX (KLTV) -

Susan Anderson is the coordinator for the East Texas Substance Abuse Coalition. This past April, at the coalition's Drug Take Back, she noticed a problem with the amount of drugs collected.

“We collected about 740 pounds, which is the most amount we collected in DEA take back history for Tyler,” says Anderson.

Those 740 pounds of prescription pills could have ended up in medicine cabinets or trash bins, easily accessible to anyone.

“The community members dropping off their drugs said 'what do we do with these year 'round?'” says Anderson.

Now the coalition, along with the Smith County Sheriff’s Office and the Tyler ISD Career and Technology Center, has created a solution.

“We’re trying to give residents a way to dispose of these drugs safely,” says Darrell Coslin, the Smith County Sheriff’s Office Information Officer. “So they’re not just being put into the water system or put in the trash where somebody else might come along.”

Together they have created secure drug drop boxes, made by Tyler ISD welding students.

“They’re designed as easy-to-use receptacles, so what goes in does not come out,” says Anderson.

The drop boxes will be installed in two areas in the county, one at the Smith County Sheriff’s Office in downtown Tyler, the other at the Emergency Operations Center on Spur 248.

“It’s specifically to lower the amount of misuse, diversion, or abuse by collecting or taking back as many prescription drugs as possible,” says Anderson.

All of the materials used to make the drop boxes were donated by local businesses, so there was no cost to Smith County residents.

The drug drop boxes will be installed this Friday after an unveiling at the Smith County Sheriffs Office at 8:30 that morning.

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