The Booneville Police Department received one of 60 medical return drug collection units through the Monitor Secure and Dispose Drop Box Project by the Arkansas Department of Health.

Booneville Police Chief Al Brown attended a press conference at Camp Robinson in North Little Rock Tuesday to pick up the box that was installed inside the Booneville Police Department.

Brown said preferences were given to counties without a collection unit and both the Booneville and Paris PDs received a box.

In Booneville the box is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the chief said. Working much like a mail box a medication is placed into a tray and once shut, allows it to fall into a collection tub that, Brown said, is emptied every weekday.

Although unused prescription medications, over the counter medications, prescription patches, prescription ointments, vitamins, samples, pet medications and prescription creams, not everything is accepted in the box.

Excluded for collections are hydrogen peroxide, thermometers, sharps (needles), inhalers, aerosol cans, medicines from business or clinics, and non-prescription ointments.

"Definitely no sharps," said Brown.

When the box is emptied each day an officer will separate non-controlled and controlled substances, weights are logged and amounts are tabulated and all material is placed into an evidence room.

"Depending on how much of a stockpile we get, we’re looking at maybe quarterly or maybe twice a year, do a destruction order and get rid of it properly through the guidelines of the Arkansas Department of Health or DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency)," said Brown.