Local prescription drug drop-off boxes latest anti-drug tool

There are many gateways to illegal drug addiction, particularly heroin.

One of them is right there in your medicine cabinet.

Prescription drugs.

Eighty percent of the incidents to which local law enforcement responds to every year are drug- and alcohol-related.

And in recent years the increase in the number of those cases that relate to prescription drugs has been “staggering,” according to District Attorney Eric Linhardt.

To fight prescription drug abuse, local authorities announced last week the installation of seven medication return boxes for expired or unused prescription medications in Lycoming County.

The MedReturn boxes, already in 1,000 locations in 45 states provide a safe, accessible and convenient way to dispose of those medications.

There is nothing more inviting to someone prone to drug addiction than a medicine cabinet full prescription drugs.

And prescription drugs are a proven gateway to heroin addiction, which has taken a death grip on our region in the past few years.

These addictions, besides destroying individuals and their families, lead to endless crime to feed a habit and, ultimately, an overcrowded county prison system.

County Commissioner Tony Mussare estimates extra drug-related costs to taxpayers at $1 million.

The boxes will be installed at police stations in Williamsport, South Williamsport, Old Lycoming Township, Hughesville, Montoursville and Tiadaghton Valley, with an eighth location planned for Montgomery in the near future, as well as the Lycoming County sheriff’s office.

Maybe the boxes will help.

They certainly can’t hurt.