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Maricopa County To Set Up Permanent Medication Collection Sites

Getting rid of old medications usually means waiting for temporary collection sites set up by local law enforcement. But new grant funding from the Department of Justice aims to create permanent drop sites in Maricopa County.                                                   

Several Arizona counties have already completed pilot programs in which law enforcement and health care providers partner to install drop-box locations for unused prescription medication. In less than a year, the locations collected more than 8,000 pounds of medications.

Andrew LeFevre with the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission said the No. 1 place children get a hold of prescription drugs is their parents’ medicine cabinet.

“Kids are getting it at home, they’re getting it from grandma’s house, they’re getting it from friends’ houses," LeFevre said. "And that’s their first introduction to getting this medication.”

The $374,000 grant from the Department of Justice will be spent entirely in Maricopa County to establish permanent collection sites located at local police stations.

This weekend there will be a number of sites around the Valley available for prescription drop offs.

Visit the Department of Justice Office of Diversion Control site to find a location near you.

Jimmy Jenkins is a senior field correspondent at KJZZ and a contributor to NPR’s Election 2020 and Criminal Justice station collaborations. His work has been featured on Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Marketplace, Here and Now, The Takeaway and NPR Newscasts.Originally from Terre Haute, Indiana, Jenkins has a B.S. in criminology from Indiana State University and a master’s degree in journalism from Indiana University.Much of his reporting has focused on the criminal justice system. Jenkins has reported on Tasers, body cameras, use of force, jail privatization, prison health care and the criminal contempt trial of former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.