Drug dropoff in service

STEUBENVILLE – A drug dropoff box now is available for area residents to deposit prescription drugs they no longer use or need.

The 450-pound steel box officially was unveiled Wednesday morning during a brief ceremony at the entrance to the City Hall police station area. And pills and prescription bottles already had been dropped inside the steel container.

“We have participated in the national Drug Take Back program but we have had people call us wanting to bring in expired medicine and narcotics. The Jefferson County Opiate Task Force was able to obtain some funding and we contacted Belmont College in St. Clairsville to build us a secure box to receive the drugs. We have been working on this for some time and I am excited it is now here in Steubenville. We also plan to set up a drug dropoff box in Toronto,” said Pam Petrilla, director of the Jefferson County Prevention and Recovery Board.

Dan Obertance, associate director of the Jefferson County Prevention and Recovery Board, said the drug dropoff box “is an important step in our area.”

“People have unused medications in their medicine cabinets. And those medicine cabinets are the new source of drugs for people on the street. What is easily available in our homes has become an issue. This program is also environmentally friendly because the drugs will be incinerated and not flushed down the toilet,” said Obertance.

According to Shawn Scott of the Steubenville Police Department, “anyone can stop here 24 hours a day, seven days a week to drop off prescription medication or even illegal drugs. Every month or so we will contact the local Drug Enforcement Agency representatives or the Jefferson County Drug Task Force to properly dispose of the drugs.”

Scott said the drugs will be incinerated.

“I want to thank Chief Bill McCafferty for appointing me to serve on the Jefferson County Opiate Task Force. I am happy to be part of the efforts to bring this to fruition,” noted Scott.

“This is a 450-pound box built by students at Belmont College who used quarter-inch steel. They welded the steel plate together and installed two different locks for security,” added Scott.

Dirk DeCoy, director of Industrial Trades and Contract Training at Belmont College in St. Clairsville, said the drug dropoff box was designed and constructed by students in the capstone class.

“These students are finishing the project they have learned about for the past two years. They designed the box, cut the steel, assembled the box and welded it together. We did send the final project out to an auto repair shop in Bellaire for the painting. The cost of the box was $500 and we are now working on a similar box for Toronto,” said DeCoy.