Drop-off Box From Lonesome Pine Hospital Community Fund Empowers Residents To Safely Dispose Medications

Wise County residents can feel safer knowing they have a place to dispose unused medications they no longer need.

The Lonesome Pine Hospital Community Fund recently donated the funds to purchase a medication return drop-off box for the Wise County Sheriff’s Department. Leaders of the fund and the sheriff’s department unveiled the new community resource during a ceremony on Monday, Jan. 13.

“For those people who have medications they would like to remove from their home, we have an excellent outlet,” said Ronnie Oakes, sheriff of Wise County and the City of Norton. “Medications should only be used by people who need them for legitimate purposes, and this unit is a perfect way to help prevent someone who does not need them from getting their hands on them.”

The box is an alternative to flushing medications in a toilet, which can harm water supplies.

Anyone can dispose prescription and over-the-counter medications – with no questions asked – in the lobby of the sheriff’s department at 224 Water St. SE from 8 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. Monday- Friday.

Other items that are accepted include vitamins, medication samples and even medications for pets. Some items that cannot be accommodated include needles, hydrogen peroxide, inhalers and aerosol cans.

The federal Drug Enforcement Agency picks up items in the box and burns them.

“This unit is an excellent way to promote safety and protect the community, and we are pleased we can assist,” said Ed Roop, the fund’s chairman. “Southwest Virginia is a great place to live, and our collaboration with the sheriff’s department on this project reflects our shared commitment to the people we are privileged to serve.”