SEYMOUR, Ind. (WDRB) -- The Seymour Police chief is warning people to not drop off used needles in the unwanted prescription box at the police department.

Last week, the department posted on its Facebook page that a large amount of medical needles and syringes were tossed in the box. The blue container is intended as a safe, anonymous way to dispose of unwanted and expired prescription and over-the-counter drugs. The box even has a sign on it that says "No Needles".

Chief Bill Abbott said most of the needles were capped, but they still pose a threat to the officers emptying the box. Needles can fall in between the cracks or heavy pill bottles can crush them.

“Things fall on top of it, some caps get knocked off," Abbott said. "It becomes a hazard to the police and the detectives asked to empty that, which is at least twice a week now.”

The Seymour Police Department, Jackson County Sheriff’s Department and Crothersville Police Department set up drop-off boxes at each station about three years ago. With the help of the Jackson County Solid Waste Management, it’s their way of working to battle the prescription drug abuse problem.

“It gets prescriptions out of the home that are either expired or not used,” Abbott said. “It gets them out of the hands of wandering eyes.”

Abbott said on its own, the drop-off bin won’t solve the problem. But he believes it is making a difference since more people are using them.

Anyone can drop off medication or any type of drugs, no questions asked. Officers will empty the bins and dispose of the pills. Nothing is tracked about what types of medications are tossed or who they were prescribed to.

In the last year or so, Abbott said more needles started showing up in the box as well. Instead, he asks everyone to dispose of needles in the medical waste bin sitting on the ground right next to the drug drop-off bin.

“We appreciate that everyone is getting the word out there and using the drop box for that intended purpose,” Abbott said. “Let’s go one step further now and start being a little bit more cautious with what we’re disposing so we’re not endangering somebody else.”

Abbott said it’s impossible to tell if any of the needles were used for illegal drugs, because they’re never tested before they’re disposed of.

Here are the three locations in Jackson County where you can turn over all unwanted medications, tablets, capsules and liquids for both human and animal consumption:

  • Jackson County Sheriff’s Department
    • Lobby: 24 hours a day, seven days a week
    • 150 E. St. Rd. 250, Brownstown, IN 47220
    • 812-358-2141
  • Seymour Police Department
    • Lobby: 24 hours a day, seven days a week
    • 205 N. Ewing St., Seymour, IN 47274
    • 812-522-1234
  • Crothersville Police Department
    • By appointment
    • 101 W. Howard St., Crothersville, IN 47229
    • 812-793-0049

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