Updated Thu, May 1, 2014 6:05 pm
Vitamins, cold medicine and pain killers expire after a certain amount of time. People often forget about their old medication and keep it in their homes.
Athens City Captain of Police, Ralph Harvey, says that is a safety issue.
"Children and pets may get into these things," he said.
This is one of the reasons why the Athens City Police Department has placed a drug drop box in its lobby. It looks like a big black mailbox and has instructions on it about what people can dispose there and what not.
The department will accept prescription pills, capsules, patches and ointments. Athens residents can also drop in over the counter medications, samples, vitamins and similar medications for pets.
"It's just not safe to throw them in the trash. Somebody might steel them," Harvey explained. It would give people who are drug dependent more options for abuse. He said some medication could be used to make other drugs like methamphetamine.
Another reason to drop old pills and capsules in the box is that it protects the environment. Dumping medications down the drain would impact the environment negatively according to the Athens City Police Department.
But Harvey stresses that they are only able to take medication like pills and capsules. The police department doesn't accept any liquids, over the counter ointments, aerosol cans or needles.
People who drop in their expired and unused medications can be certain that police officers will dispose them properly. The lobby of the Athens City Police Department is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 11 North College Street.