INDIANAPOLIS – Marion County joined a number of Indiana counties, Monday, to have a permanent drop-off location for unwanted drugs.
It is a joint effort by the Marion County Sheriff’s Office and Drug Free Indiana. The hope is to bring the number of prescription drug overdoses down in the area.
“Drugs that are leftover… in medicine cabinets… our youngsters can get a hold of. When I’m talking youngsters, I mean toddlers and on up,” said Sheriff John Layton. “It’s well locked and they’ll be folks around these boxes all the time.”
As Marion County Sheriff’s Office employees carried the metal drop box into the lobby of the jail, Kristy Nelson couldn’t help but nod in appreciation. It’s something she and her husband, Judge William Nelson, have wanted for a long time.
“This is a passion of mine, but it’s a passion of mine because of a tragedy,” said Judge Nelson.
Five years ago, the couple’s 20-year-old son, Bryan, passed away from an overdose. His drug of choice was prescription medication around the house.
“We like most parents either ignored the problem or weren’t educated enough to recognize the problem. And we had no idea what to do like many parents with drugs we had lying around our house.”
A recent report ranked Indiana among the top five states for the fastest growing rate of drug overdose deaths. The drop box is a long time coming since most central Indiana counties already have one.
FOX59 asked Sheriff Layton why Marion County took so long to get on board. He said there were things that were pushed aside during the merger of the two Marion County police departments.
“I think we lost some focus here in Marion County on some things that are very, very important,” he explained. “I’m just glad we’ve got a handle on it now and this is going to do nothing but grow.”
“Maybe if we had been a little more educated then maybe we could`ve saved a young life,” added Judge Nelson. “With this program we hope to save many young lives.”
The drop-off box is located in the lobby of the Marion County Jail and will be accessible around the clock.