Hennepin County authorities are setting up permanent medication drop-off locations to collect unused and expired prescription drugs - particularly pain medications.
The self-serve, drop boxes are a safe, easy way for residents to dispose of medications that can otherwise end up abused by children, Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek said.
Police are finding that some of the drugs trafficked on the street can be traced back to parents' medicine cabinets, purses and cars, Stanek said.
"Young people think that because you can lawfully buy these at a pharmacy, that somehow they're ok to take or misuse," Stanek said. "In fact, if they're taken the legal way for what they're prescribed for, they're just fine. But when you misdirect them, they become a problem; addiction, death, serious injury."
The drop boxes will be located at the Sheriff's Water Patrol by Lake Minnetonka in Spring Park; at the downtown Minneapolis jail; and off of Jefferson Highway on the border of Brooklyn Park and Maple Grove.