Stillwater News Press

Local News

November 13, 2013

Drop boxes keep prescription drugs away from children

STILLWATER, Okla. — The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics delivered a drug disposal box on Wednesday to a second location in Stillwater — the Stillwater Police Department.

The box is located on the south side of the building near the records department.

“We’re glad to be participating in OBN’s effort to reduce drug dependency as well as safe disposal of excess and expired prescription drugs,” said Stillwater Police Chief Ryan McCaghren.

Stillwater police discontinued its drug disposal program after Sgt. Tom McConaghy was charged with larceny of controlled dangerous substances in July. McConaghy resigned shortly before charges were filed. He is accused of taking painkillers intended for the department’s Drug Take Back disposal program, pleading guilty in September. A judge approved his 10-year deferred sentence under the conditions that he pay a series of fines totaling more than $5,000, complete 50 hours of community service in six months, obtain a drug and alcohol evaluation and complete any follow-up treatment that evaluation recommends.

Stillwater’s box adds to the 147 other boxes in Oklahoma, including the existing box at the Payne County Sheriff’s office, 606 S. Husband St.

OBN Director R. Darrell Weaver said the bottom line is that the department has successfully collected and destroyed 21 tons of unwanted prescriptions.

The disposal box is a turn-key operation that saves lives, he said. One OBN agent attends to the box and is notified by the police chief when full or needs service. Once the pills are collected, they are measured by weight.

OBN’s partnership with Covanta Energy in Tulsa allows the company to safely destroy the drugs collected at no cost to the state.

Once weighed, the drugs are taken to the secure facility to be converted into waste and clean energy.

“Armed guards watch the disposal to ensure it’s disposed of,” Weaver said.

“When you think about prescription drugs and problems with them, this keeps them away from kids,” said Rep. Cory Williams, D-Stillwater. “It’s been disposed of — it’s gone.”

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