GALLOWAY — Stockton University is working to stem drug misuse by offering on-campus students lock boxes for their medicines.

Stockton received 100 of the lock boxes, which can be kept in a closet or hung on a door in a student's campus room, from a local drug recovery organization.

Atlantic Prevention Resources, based in Absecon, donated the drug lock boxes, which are about 12 inches high and 8 inches wide. They come with two self-contained locks, and they can be installed inside a closet, or on the back of a door, and only the student is granted access. A spare key is kept in the University office in the event that the key is lost.

Director of Residential Life Denise O'Neill says "it is an opportunity, if students do bring medication to campus, to keep it in a safe place."

By locking them up, students can be sure no one else around them — roommates or friends who visit their room —will have access to their prescriptions and other drugs. O'Neill says "prevention is our primary reason for bringing the devices on to campus."

O'Neill says anything that interferes with a student's focus on academics is something that they want to address.

"We have approximately 3,000 students and we only have 100 boxes at this point. And as you know, with any program it starts small and then it grows. Once people know about it and you start marketing it, there is greater interest."

O'Neill says she would not be surprised if other universities and colleges offer the same program.

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