Police will accept old medicine
Farmington and Rosemount police have entered into a joint project with other Dakota County law enforcement agencies to take old prescription pills out of the house, and possibly out of the hands of people who could abuse them.
Set up as a joint powers agreement with Dakota County, the new household pharmaceutical disposal program encourages residents to bring their unused prescription drugs to a secure location for disposal.
A specially-designed disposal receptacle has been placed at the Farmington police department. Rosemount police were scheduled to add a box this week.
Residents can bring up as many old prescriptions as they would like, and do so for no charge.
"If you're no longer in need of them, don't leave them lying around your house or flush them down the toilet," Farmington police chief Brian Lindquist said. "Bring them to us. If you find yourself incapable of getting to the police department, give us a call and we'll help you out."
The project comes about because police see the abuse of pharmaceutical drugs more and more, Lindquist said. Farmington police have come across teens and even some adults who have been under the influence of prescription drugs.
"Prescription abuse has become a serious problem for law enforcement and EMS, schools, social services. Everybody. If we can find a way to eliminate those old prescriptions from just sitting around the house, we have less chance of them being ingested by a younger family member or anybody else who should not have access to them," Lindquist said.
Rosemount police chief Eric Werner said prescription-drug abuse can even be a precursor to heroin use.
The police departments will collect unused drugs until the container is full, then a licensed, on-duty officer will deliver the drugs to a disposal site.
Other Dakota County law enforcement agencies are participating.
For more information, or to request assistance in getting rid of unused drugs, contact the Farmington Police Department, 651-280-6700 or the Rosemount police department at 651-423-4491.
Editor Nathan Hansen contributed to this report.