Is your medicine cabinet filled with prescription and over-the-counter medication that you no longer use? If so, Drug Free Collier can help you clean up your act. Volunteers with Operation Medicine Cabinet® will be on hand at multiple locations throughout Collier County on Saturday, April 25, 2015 to help residents safely dispose of unwanted household medication.
Since 1993, Operation Medicine Cabinet has been working to keep harmful drugs from falling into the wrong hands by providing a responsible alternative that protects our kids and our environment. Last year, volunteers collected more than 8,700 pounds of prescription pills and assorted medicines for safe disposal. “We are thrilled that so many members of our community are now more mindful of how they use, store and safely dispose of household medication,” said Melanie Black, Executive Director of Drug Free Collier.
“As we learn more about the risks of unsecured medication in our homes and the impact of pharmaceuticals on our water supply, more people are resisting the temptation to flush them down the toilet or throw them out with the trash,” said Black.
With the rise of prescription drug abuse and overdose deaths reaching epidemic proportions in recent years, Operation Medicine Cabinet® has been an essential element of prevention. It’s a simple, yet powerful way for each adult in our community to take an active role in preventing further tragedies.
Over the years, Operation Medicine Cabinet has gained national attention and has grown thanks to the efforts of Veora Little and dozens of dedicated volunteers. Her involvement began in 2006 when a handful of local elementary students were transported to the hospital after taking prescription medication that was brought to school by another student. “After learning about this incident, Veora recognized that something more needed to be done to keep this from happening again and immediately took action and volunteered to spearhead
Operation Medicine Cabinet,” Black said.
Collier County now has 11 permanent drop-boxes where residents can conveniently and safely dispose of unwanted household medication. “Operation Medicine Cabinet would not be where it is today without the leadership, dedication and innovation of Veora Little,” said Black.
“Prescription pill abuse is preventable,” Black said. “You can be part of the solution by locking up your medication at home since it’s widely known that individuals who abuse prescription drugs often get them from the medicine cabinets of their family members and friends,” Black added. It’s also a good idea to keep a written inventory of all medication.
Both prescription and over-the-counter medication are accepted at each drop box with no questions asked. All pharmaceuticals are destroyed through incineration, a method which environmental specialists consider to be the best option for disposal.