RUSK, Texas (KETK) – Members of the Rusk Police Department believe a drop-off box is the key to getting unwanted prescription drugs off of streets in the community.

“This is just our way to attack that problem and try to do our part in minimizing that as much as we can,” said Jeremy Black, Rusk Police Chief.

He also wants residents to know properly disposing of these drugs is important.

“Even if they don’t think it’s that big a deal, your prescription drugs are either going to end up in the water systems (or) in the wrong hands,” said Black.

According to the CDC, more than 70,000 deaths in 2019 were caused by drug overdoses.

Law enforcement said most of the incidents start at home, and they want to prevent this.

“Giving them an option for the families to bring that extra or what’s not being used, a place to drop it off at, it will get that out of the home,” said Nathan Acker, a Rusk Police Lieutenant.

Despite some questions from people, the chief said there has been a good response to the drop box program.

“So far, it’s been great. Since we’ve introduced this, we’ve already had several folks come in the doors to drop things off,” added Black.

The department’s ultimate goal is to help others.

“(We) don’t want these in the hands of our youth or other folks that are trying to find ways to get this and use it in an illegal manner or to harm themselves or somebody else,” said Black.