Members of The La Crosse County Heroin Task Force in Wisconsin have run into roadblocks while developing a plan to dispose of prescription medicines in drop boxes, reports the Associated Press.
Acknowledging that prescription drug abuse is tied to heroin use, the task force attributes the region’s growing heroin problem to an increased prevalence in prescribed opiates. Members of the task force had hoped to install permanent drop boxes in secure locations to help people dispose of unwanted and expired prescription medicines, in an effort to limit the availability of unused medications and the potential for abuse.
But task force co-chairman Mike Desmond says that existing laws and regulations present obstacles to setting up the drop boxes, as do new rules the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration could roll out next month.
“We’d like to give you all sorts of great news on how easy it is to just put them in and, you know, pick up the drugs and that’s the end of it,” Desmond said at a task force meeting. “We’ve found out that it’s much more complicated than that.”
As heroin and prescription drug abuse continue to be a cause for national concern, a recent report found that a growing number of people switch back and forth between abusing prescription painkillers and heroin.
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