Pill drop boxes coming to Augusta to battle prescription drug abuse

News 12 First at Five / Tuesday, May 14, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Thanks to some new drop boxes, 1.2 million pills have been taken off the streets of Georgia at no cost to the taxpayer.

So far, deputies say it's working here in Richmond County, too.

"I mean, we're receiving Percocet, hydrocodone, we're getting Xanax, we're getting it all the way across the board, and we're very happy to see that," said Richmond County Narcotics Investigator Sgt. Allan Rollins.

That's the goal of a new drop box. It's a place where people in the community can get rid of illegal drugs or old prescription pills.

In its first week, the box collected 18 pounds of drugs. In its second week, it collected another 9 pounds. With three more boxes on the way, investigators say they hope that number keeps rising.

"When they're taking it and dropping it off at the box, that's getting it out of the general population or the possibility of it getting circulated," Rollins said.

The issue is growing rapidly among young people in our community. According to the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators, prescription drugs have become the number one substance of abuse for 12- to 17-year-olds.

It's a problem that hits home for Lance Dyer. His son, Dakota Dyer, died after trying drugs just one time.

"Dakota was an A-B student, starting defensive end on the football team. No history, zero, of alcohol or drug abuse," he said.

Dyer created the drop box program using repurposed mailboxes that collect the very substances that ended his son's life.

"If just one bottle of those pills or one package of illegal drugs was put in those boxes and can prevent the overdose or drug abuse of one of our young people, then that's a day well spent," Dyer said.

At around $800 dollars apiece, Richmond County already has one box, but thanks to the Dakota Dyer Foundation, the county is getting three more.

Dyer says it's a small price to pay to save a life.

One of the boxes is in the Richmond County Sheriff's Office lobby. You can get to that one during business hours and that's accessible right now.

The other three that are coming hopefully next week will be put in the Charles B. Webster Detention Center lobby on Phinizy Road. That one will be available 24 hours.

GRU will get the second, and the third will float around to all the community meetings.

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