Palm Beach County Prescription Pill Dropbox Prevents Abuse

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Palm Beach County Prescription Pill Dropbox Prevents Abuse

Organizers at the Palm Beach County Substance Awareness Coalition celebrated last week, announcing that the prescription pill drop box program had netted over 8,500 pounds of pills (4.25 tons) in 2015. The program encourages people to surrender medication in an effort to prevent drug abuse and addiction.

Palm Beach County current boasts the most drop boxes of any county in the nation, with 26 boxes in use. The latest pill drop location has been established at the Boynton Beach Police Department.

Jeff Kadel, Palm Beach County Substance Awareness Coalition:

“The coalition and law enforcement partners are doing what they can to provide easy access so that unwanted or unused prescription drugs don’t end up in the hands of the people who will use and abuse them.”

On average, it is estimated that 7 Florida residents die from a drug overdose every day. The county, the state, and the U.S. have all experienced an uptick in prescription pill abuse and overdose deaths in recent years. However, since the program began, Palm Beach County has experienced a decrease.

For example, in 2011, 626 died due to prescription pill overdose by opioid medications such as Oxycontin. That number was nearly cut in half (350) by 2014.

More About The Pill Drop Box Program

Pill drop box programs are meant to cut down on the availability of drug in the community. By dropping off pills, people are making a statement. They are resisting the temptation to take the medication, sell it, or redistribute in any way. And they are getting it out of the hands of people who may try to abuse it.

The following items are accepted at pill drop box locations:

  • Prescriptions
  • Over-the-counter medications
  • Vitamins
  • Samples
  • Medications for pets
  • Ointments
  • Lotions
  • Liquid medication in leak proof containers

Needles are not, accepted, however.

Other Resources

If you live in Palm Beach County and are looking for the nearest pill drop box location, you can download a list of locations here.

More information about Florida’s various pill drop programs can be found at the Florida Department of Protection website.

Also, new federal guidelines permit pharmacies and hospitals to take back unwanted medication. Check with your local pharmacy or health center to see if they allow drop off.

If you cannot find a safe drop off location in your area, follow these guidelines on how to best dispose of the medication WITHOUT FLUSHING. Unwanted medications should never be disposed of by flushing. It may cause contamination to Florida’s aquatic environment, as treatment systems do not remove all of these medications.

~ G. Nathalee Serrels, M.A., Psychology

Related: Florida Votes to Outlaw Synthetic Drugs

 

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