Choctaw Nation Public Safety and Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics Provide Prescription Box

By STEPHENIE OCHOA and BRANDON FRYE
Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma
(From left to right) Sgt. Mike Johnson, Director of Law Enforcement R.D. Hendrix, Director of OBN Darrell Weaver, and Chief Agent of Enforcement Bob Cook stand with the new drug drop within the Choctaw Nation Public Safety Department. (Photo by Brandon Frye)
Choctaw Nation Public Safety and Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics Provide Prescription Box

Durant-The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics (OBN) installed a permanent prescription drug drop off box inside the Choctaw Nation Public Safety Department at 1705 Locust St. on June 24, 2014.
Any person can deposit unwanted and outdated prescription drugs and containers, which will serve to protect the environment from chemical pollution as well as safeguard against accidents and any possible abuse of substances. These OBN drop boxes are currently the only legal means of discarding medications safely in Oklahoma.

“It’s a win-win,” R.D. Hendrix, Director of Choctaw Law Enforcement, said. “There is not a charge for it, OBN provides the box, they provide the service to come pick it up when it is full, and it’s convenient for all of our employees here to be able to utilize.”

Statewide, OBN has taken back roughly 28 tons of unwanted prescriptions.

The disposal box at the Choctaw Public Safety Department is the 158th to be installed within Oklahoma and is now one of three boxes available to citizens within the Durant area.

Hendrix said OBN wants to take drugs off the streets. “I’m sure they saw, throughout the state, a lot of problems with prescription drugs,” he said. “Not only people selling them, but things happening in the homes.”

Mark Woodward, OBN spokesman, said prescription drug abuse is a growing epidemic in Oklahoma and it is unsafe to leave outdated drugs in the house. “Old, expired medications left in the home can be targeted by users,” Woodward said. “Teenagers also target their parent’s current or expired prescription drugs to abuse, trade or sell in order to obtain alcohol, marijuana or other drugs.”

These drop boxes are also vital for preventing potential disasters caused by keeping unnecessary medications in the home, Darrell Weaver, Director of OBN, said. “A lot of your elderly people, they usually have several medications, and a lot of times they get more than what they need. Once they pass on, what do the relatives do with the medication?” He added, “I always say this: it’s about saving lives and it will be well worth it if we can save at least one life.”

The drop box inside the Choctaw Nation Public Safety Department will be available during the business hours of 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Additional locations are available to citizens of Durant at the Bryan County Sheriff’s Office and Durant Police Department.