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Saturday, April 28, marked “National Prescription Drug Takeback Day” in Palm Beach County, Florida, and around the country. Here in Palm Beach County alone, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office was one of 30 pill drop-off centers collecting old, expired and unused pill bottles, no questions asked.
The annual spring cleaning drive is organized by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Nationally, the initiative is in its 15th year of operation. Locally, the initiative is an example of how private providers like Beach House Center for Recovery are teaming up with the Palm Beach County’s Sheriff’s Office and other key stakeholders in the community to address the opiate epidemic.
“The effort has been going strong for four years, thanks to the sheriff’s department,” said Micah Robbins. As a member of the Beach House team, Robbins serves on Palm Beach County’s Substance Awareness Coalition. (The coalition has played a leading role in facilitating Palm Beach County’s participation in National Prescription Drug Takeback Day, with the goal of protecting more children and families from the scourge of addiction and overdose.)
As an example of what he meant by “going strong,” Robbins noted that when the drug disposal initiative first began in Palm Beach County four years ago, residents turned in 400 pounds of pills. Last year, they dropped off a total of 8,000 pounds—so the word is getting out and our community is responding.
Protecting Children from Prescription Drugs – How You Can Help
The context for National Prescription Drug Takeback Day in this and recent years has been a runaway painkiller epidemic that is endangering countless young lives. Every day in the U.S., 2,500 children abuse a prescription painkiller for the first time, according to statistics from the Foundation for a Drug-Free World. And research findings cited by the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids reveal that:
- One in four teens has misused or abused a prescription drug in their lifetime.
- Just under half of these teens who misused or abused a prescription drug obtained it from their parent’s medicine cabinet.
- More than half of teens say it’s easy to get prescription drugs from their parent’s medicine cabinet.
If you just missed this year’s National Prescription Drug Takeback Day, you don’t have to wait until next year’s event to get rid of excess, unwanted or expired pills. Some drug disposal sites are open year-round. We encourage you to find one in your area.
Pill drop locations will accept the following items for drop-off:
- Over-the-counter medications
- Medications for pets
- Liquid medication in plastic or leak proof containers
The following items are not acceptable for disposal:
- Needles (Sharps)
- Bloody or infectious waste
- Medication from businesses or clinics
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Aerosol cans
- Medication in glass containers
To learn more about how Beach House is collaborating with local law enforcement and government officials to address the opiate epidemic, check out these articles in our Learning Center: