Take it to the Box: Rice County’s Medication Safety Program launches

In last week’s Friday Memo, Northfield Police Chief Mark Taylor announced the new Rice County Medication Safety Program named Take it to the Box.

Griff Wigley takes a bottle of Oxycodone to the Box; Nothfield Police Chief Mark Taylor approves Northfield Safety Center Take it to the Box poster   
I had a bottle of Oxycodone from my 2008 rotator cuff surgery that I never used so I was eager to get rid of it today, given the prevalence of theft from household medicine cabinets that contribute to the drug abuse problem. (Note that any pharmaceuticals can be placed in the Box. See, for example, last week’s environmental news about the problem of feminized male fish in the Mississippi River, "a problem linked to women’s birth control pills and other hormone treatments.")

Mary Nelson, member of the Mayor’s Task Force on Youth and Alcohol and Drug Use Chief Taylor cited the efforts of Mary Nelson, a member of the Mayor’s Task Force on Youth and Alcohol and Drug Use, for her work on this program.

Take it to the box- A prescription drug disposal program will start on Tuesday September 22, 2009. This program will feature two drop boxes in Rice County. One will be at the Northfield Police Department and the other at F aribault P.D. The public will be able to come to the police station and place their unused, unneeded prescription drugs in a drop box in the police station lobby. This is an anonymous program encouraging person(s)  to remove their name from labels, leaving the drug name to aid us in safe disposal. Two of the main goals of this program are; safe disposal will impact/reduce opportunities for drugs falling into the wrong hands, leading to drug abuse. Secondly, safe disposal ensures drugs do not end up in landfills, city water, etc. having an environmental impact. The box will be available during all hours.

This project was a large undertaking that took the cooperation and hard work of many organizations. They include: Rice County Chemical Health Coalition, Northfield Healthy Community Initiative (HCI), Northfield Hospital, Faribault Police, Northfield Police, Northfield Mayor’s Youth Task Force on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, and the Rice County Drug Task Force. A special thank you to Northfield resident Mary Nelson, who contributed countless hours on this project.


  1. Mary f. Nelson said:

    Hi Griff-

    Thanks so much for posting information about our new, county-wide medication disposal program- Take It To The Box! Many community members worked long and hard to develop this innovative program to our county. Few communities have this type of disposal program- we are the second in Minnesota- but there appears to be increasing grassroots interest from across the country in addressing the need for safe medication disposal.

    Just wanted to add a few things:
    – Both over-the-counter medication AND prescription medication, for humans and animals, can be dropped off.
    – We accept inhalers but not syringes or needles.
    – This is a program for Rice Co. individuals. We are not able to take medication from businesses.

    For more information check our web page at http://www.ricecountychc.com or call 507-664-3524 or 507-332-5911.

    September 23, 2009
  2. Griff Wigley said:

    You’re welcome, Mary. Thanks for all your work on this, as well your efforts to keep snowboarders from jumping off the roofs of downtown buildings. 😉

    September 23, 2009

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