The Smith County Sheriff's Office is teamed up with several area businesses and non-profits to combat prescription drug abuse in East Texas.

The availability of these boxes are the result of a collaborative effort between the Smith County Sheriff's Office, Tyler ISD, UT Tyler College of Pharmacy, local businesses and the East Texas Substance Abuse Coalition. According to ETSAC Coordinator, Susan Anderson, the idea was born after the April Drug Take Back event collected over 700 pounds of prescription drugs from Smith County residents.

"We always attempt to do and really want to do in law enforcement with these substance abuse programs is to get out and be proactive instead of reactive," Smith County Sheriff Larry Smith said.

At a news conference Friday morning, Sheriff Smith unveiled one of the new prescription drug drop boxes at the Sheriff's office. The drop boxes were created by students to prevent drug abuse by allowing folks a safe and anonymous way to dispose of unwanted drugs.

Tylerite June Robertson was the first to use the drop off Friday and said they're very helpful.

"My husband was recently passed away and he had a lot of prescription drugs...I didn't know what to do with them and you don't want to flush them so this is an awesome idea," Robertson said.

All of the materials used to assemble the drop boxes were donated by local businesses, meaning the boxes will come at no cost to Smith County taxpayers.