Prescription drug lockboxes distributed to raise awareness of ongoing opioid epidemic

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LANCASTER, Pa. – The Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office is using lockboxes that secure prescription medications as a way to raise awareness of the ongoing opioid epidemic gripping many county neighborhoods.

District Attorney Craig Stedman’s office has distributed hundreds of the combination-coded lockboxes to schools, health providers, police departments and business people in efforts to start conversations over opioid abuse, which killed more than 100 people last year in Lancaster County.

The lockboxes, funded by drug forfeiture money and provided to the public free of charge, were distributed Tuesday night at Penn Manor High School during a Lancaster County Anti-Heroin Task Force event.

The DA’s office initially purchased 500 boxes and, when those supplies ran out, received an additional 300 boxes.

Many heroin users abused prescription medications initially, turning to heroin when prescriptions ran out and buying pills on the street proved too costly. Heroin is a cheaper alternative.

Lancaster County law-enforcement officials say it is common for a drug abuser to take medications from relatives or friends.

That is where the lock boxes come into play.

“We see two primary purposes with the boxes,” District Attorney Stedman said. “To help people secure their controlled medications and pain killers which have been the leading cause of the opioid epidemic, and to prompt residents to have conversations over that epidemic which has impacted so many families in Lancaster County.

“The boxes are not a magic bullet, but they are a tangible tool with practical ramifications aimed at prevention, education, and ultimately saving lives.”

Each box is tagged with a sticker containing talking points about prescription pill abuse.

For more information about the lockboxes, contact the Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office at (717) 299-8100.

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