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Clemson police install drug take back box

If you have unwanted, unused or expired prescription drugs, you’ll no longer have to flush them down the toilet or wait for a drug take-back event.

The Clemson City Police Department installed a new, permanent prescription Drug Take Back Box earlier this month. The box, housed at department headquarters at 1198 Tiger Blvd., was purchased with grant funding awarded by the South Carolina Lieutenant Governor’s Office on Aging.

Clemson PD Chief Jimmy Dixon said the “main thing we [sic] want people to know is [that] it’s open 24/7.” 

Dixon added that the department would like people to “come in and get rid of prescriptions” that are unused. The hope is that this will keep the drugs out of “the hands of people [they’re] not prescribed to.”

The box is the latest effort by the department to respond to the growing opioid epidemic. According to a public Facebook post by Clemson PD, “opioid-related deaths [in South Carolina] increased 21 percent from 2014 to 2016.”

The issue of opioids as an ongoing substance abuse crisis extends beyond South Carolina. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 20.2 million adults had a substance abuse disorder. In October 2017, President Donald Trump declared the opioid crisis a “public health emergency.”

Clemson University has also attempted to address the opioid epidemic. In April 2017, faculty and students from the public health sciences department held a symposium called “Deadly Drugs in the Palmetto State: Opiates – An Epidemic?” 

The university also collaborated with the Solutions Recovery Center in Greenville on The Lighthouse, an outpatient drug and alcohol treatment program focused on younger people (it has since closed due to city ordinance violations). 

In order to prepare items for Clemson PD’s Drug Take Back Box, prescriptions must be placed in a sealed container such as the original bottle or a zip-lock bag, although personal information should be removed or marked out. Medicines that can be disposed of include prescriptions, tablets, capsules and pet medications. 

The department will not take intravenous solutions, injectables, syringes, needles, hydrogen peroxide, compressed cylinders or aerosols, iodine-containing substances, thermometers, alcohol or illicit drugs.

To learn more about the Drug Take Back Box, visit Clemson PD’s Facebook page at

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