November 07, 2017  |  02:40 pm

Drug take-back boxes are now in place at STPSO facilities on the east and west sides of the parish as part of an ongoing effort to combat prescription drug abuse.

Abused prescription drugs are often obtained through family and friends. The boxes allow St. Tammany Parish residents to properly dispose of unused or expired prescription drugs.

Unused prescription drugs thrown in the trash can be retrieved and abused or illegally sold. Unused drugs that are flushed can contaminate the water supply.

The Louisiana Department of Justice (LADOJ) provided the drug take-back boxes to law enforcement offices by request across the state. The boxes are part of a collaborative effort with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana (BCBSLA), the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators (NADDI) and local law enforcement in Louisiana’s fight against the opioid epidemic.

Residents are asked to remove any identifying information from prescription containers deposited in the take-back boxes. Liquids, needles or syringes, and drug paraphernalia will not be accepted.

"We are committed to doing everything we can to fight the opioid crisis in St. Tammany Parish," said Sheriff Randy Smith. “The success of our recent one-day drug-take back initiative illustrates the need for this service.”

One box is located inside the STPSO Law Enforcement Complex, 2070 Collins Blvd., in Covington and the other is located on the first floor of the STPSO Administrative Building, 300 Brownswitch Road, in Slidell. Residents can access the boxes to turn in unused prescription medication for safe disposal during regular business hours, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.