HAWAII (HawaiiNewsNow) - The state launched its drug drop box program on Monday, in an effort to remove unwanted and potentially dangerous opioids from Hawaii homes.
The Hawaii Medication Drop box Program is a collaborative partnership between state and federal departments to supplement national drug take-back events that take place every year. Residents and visitors will be able to drop of excess or unused prescription drugs at several locations across the state.
From 2010 to 2017, nearly 30,500 pounds of prescription drugs have been collected and safely disposed of in the islands.
The drop boxes are meant to deter residents and visitors from improperly disposing of unused or expired medication. Officials say proper disposal can prevent drugs from entering the water supply, or harming ocean life.
"This is a game-changer for a serious public health issue," said Lt. Gov. Doug Chin, in a news release. "We're being proactive and making it easier to remove dangerous drugs from our homes, schools and streets 365 days a year."
Each 150-pound drop box is made of powder-coated steel, and measure 61 inches tall, 21.5 inches wide, and 22 inches deep.
Maui Police have already received six drop boxes, Kauai Police have three and Big Island Police received eight. Every steel drop box will be bolted into place and accessible to the public.
Participating police departments are implementing the program in conjunction to their policies, protocols and designated locations.
"This Medication Drop Box Program is another means for local law enforcement to work collaboratively with the community in minimizing the accessibility and abuse of dangerous prescription drugs," said Hawaii Island Police Chief Paul Ferreira, in a statement.
"I'm glad we can offer a safe and convenient alternative to disposing unwanted or expired medication," Ferreira said.
For more information on the program, residents and visitors can go to the state Department of Health website.
The current locations of drop boxes statewide are below:
- Hilo Station at 349 Kapiolani Street
- Puna Station at 15-2615 Keaau-Pahoa Highway, Pahoa
- Kona Station at 74-611 Hale Makai Place, Kailua-Kona
- Wailuku Station at 55 Mahalani Street (placed within Receiving Desk Lobby)
- Lanai Station at 855 Fraser Avenue, Lanai City (placed within front lobby)
- Hana Station at 4611 Hana Highway, Hana (location to be finalized)
- Lahaina Station at 1850 Honoapiilani Highway, Lahaina (placed within front lobby)
- Molokai Station at 110 Ainoa Street, Kaunakakai (location to be finalized)
- Kihei Station at 2201 Piilani Highway, Kihei (placed within front lobby)
- Lihue Station at 3990 Kaana Street, Lihue
- State Narcotics Enforcement Division at 3375 Koapaka Street, #D-100, Honolulu