Salem students make first public prescription take-back drug box

Published: May. 27, 2016 at 6:25 PM EDT
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Prescription drug abuse is a nationwide problem but some Salem students and the Roanoke County Sheriff's Office are working to change that in our area.

The Burton Center for the Arts and Technology's welding class made the first public prescription drug take-back box in the Roanoke Valley.

"We welded the box together. We used some welding for the hinges and stuff. We had to sand everything down and grind it. It was pretty straight forward," said student, Allen Britt.

Students worked on project for two weeks. The goal is to give people an opportunity to drop off their unused drugs instead of flushing them down the toilet waiting for annual events to get rid of them.

Prescription drug abuse is not uncommon in the area.

"We do see a number of incidents where people throughout the valley are exposed to prescription drugs whether i's prescription drug abuse intentionally or accidental exposure to it," said Roanoke County Sheriff, Joseph Orange.

Projects like making drug boxes are sparking interest for districts to bring more technical training into schools.

"Some kids are not meant for college especially right after high school and so I think more focus and emphasis needs to be in technical education and this is a prime example," said, Catawba School Board member, Thomas McCracken.

The box will sit outside of the Roanoke County Sheriff's office. If it does well students may be called to make more.

"It's a good thing to work with our skills and produce something that's not just in a welding booth practicing a weld. It's putting it in a real world setting," said student, Michael Webster.

Putting the box to the test is the hope for stopping a growing problem.