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Town to help combat ‘gateway’ drug use

Richard Fulton

(9/18) The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners approved at their September 2 meeting participation in the county drug drop-off program, and to have a drop-off box installed at town hall. The drop-boxes are intended to provide a means for the public to dispose of unused or expired prescription drugs to prevent the drugs from being unlawfully used by other family members, or from being stolen during break-ins.

David Dunn, county commissioners' liaison said, “Right now, currently, we have four (drop-boxes) in operation. We’re hoping to add three more this year.”

“We’re hoping to put one here, in New Market, and downtown Frederick City. Brunswick has one, (and) Middletown, the LEC (Law Enforcement Center), and Thurmont (also each have one),” he said.

Middletown has their drop-box inside their town hall, Dunn stated. “I know Middletown is collecting about 50 pounds (of prescription drugs) every other week.” Thurmont, he said, has it inside their police department, while Brunswick has it on the porch of the police department outside. The LEC has it inside. “Those usually collect about 600 pounds (of prescription drugs) every two months,” Dunn noted.

The commissioners' liaison said, “As we known and as we have found out, prescription drugs, they are gateway drugs. All heroin users have started with some kind of a gateway drug. That’s not to say everybody that’s used a gateway drug goes to heroin, but everybody that gets to heroin has started that way.”

“About 70 percent of them (those using prescription gateway drugs), kids mainly, get it from the parent’s medicine cabinets, or relatives,” he said. “That’s where they find them.”

“I’m trying to work a deal, I think I have a commitment from Fort Detrick to use their incinerator there (to destroy the collected prescription drugs),” Dunn said. “I’m waiting to ink that.”

The county representative said, “The boxes are relatively inexpensive. The last time I checked they were $9.95 and that included shipping.” Beyond that he said there were no other fees proposed at this time. “I’ve already checked with Sheriff Chuck Jenkins and he said he would be more than happy to collect the drugs,” Dunn said, noting that the drugs have to be collected from the drug drop-off boxes by law enforcement officials. The board voted unanimously to install the drop-box in the town office.

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