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Lisbon Installs Permanent Rx Drug Dropbox

LISBON, Iowa (CBS 2/FOX 28) -- Prescription drug abuse is a growing concern for local law enforcement, especially among youth.

A number of cities in Eastern Iowa hold "drug drop-offs". Lisbon and Mount Vernon combined collected around fifty pounds of pills just last year, but they only happen once or twice a year.

Those cities have found permanent solutions.

Lisbon is taking the battle against prescription drug abuse into city hall.

"What they'll do is they'll come in here, and they'll open this lid right here, drop it in, and close it," Lisbon police chief Rick Scott said, dropping a bottle of aspirin into the new box.

The dropbox was just installed this week. It's a permanent site for people to dispose of those unused pills.

"You're less likely to have somebody come into your home and take them, kids get a holf od them, where they can just bring it in here, and it's taken care of," Chief Scott said.

The box was paid for by the RC Rail Coalition, a group that focuses on improving rural communities in Linn County.

The aim is to curb access for youth.

"We're talking different generations here," Lisbon Mayor Beryl O'Connor said.

According to the Iowa Youth Survey, in the last 30 days, six percent of 11th graders in Linn County used prescription drugs that were not theirs.

Almost half, 46 percent, of high school juniors said it would be "easy" or "very easy" to get those drugs.

"Their perception is that they're safe, and that's a problem," said Lindsey Ungs, Area Subtance Abuse Council.

The box idea is spread to neighboring communities, like Mount Vernon.

"They can come in and dispose of them into the dropbox," Mount Vernon police chief Mark Winder said.

Winder said his department's box will be installed next week.

Meanwhile, Lisbon leaders expect a big impact, one they say will create a better way of life.

"All because of a little box," Mayor O'Connor said.

The drop-offs in Lisbon and Mount Vernon are completely anonymous.
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