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FSA Operation Pill Drop Safely Disposes of Nearly 7,000 Pounds of Unused Medication

November 28, 2016

FSA Operation Pill Drop FlyerPrescription pills are the most commonly used and abused drugs among 12 and 13-year-olds. In an effort to proactively combat this danger, the Florida Sheriffs Association Task Force, chaired by Charlotte County Sheriff Bill Prummell, conducted a program called “Operation Pill Drop.” Between October 16 and November 12, 2016, this program encouraged citizens to properly and safely dispose of unwanted medications from their households that could otherwise be potentially dangerous if acquired by children or adults, while also providing an environmentally safe alternative to medication disposal. Through this effective fall operation, the Florida Sheriffs were successful in taking more than 6,600 pounds (3.3 tons) of prescription drugs during that time span.

“One of the critical concerns facing Florida today is drug abuse,” said Florida Sheriffs Association President, Sheriff Jerry Demings. “The prescription drug drop off boxes have been a huge success and the Florida Sheriffs Association is doing everything possible to make neighborhoods, schools, and communities drug-free and provide people with a convenient solution. It takes a team effort to stop prescription drug abuse and sheriffs’ offices around the state have really stepped up.”

Pill drop boxes allow residents to protect the environment as well. Through incineration as opposed to disposing medications in the trash or down the drain, the drop boxes provide a sustainable alternative. Other goals of this program are to provide awareness about prescription drug abuse, protect children from accidentally ingesting medications, educate the public on how to safely store medications, and take preventive measures in avoiding the theft of medication. 

“In 2015, total drug-related deaths in Florida increased by 13.9 percent compared to 2014 and is steadily increasing as 2016 comes to an end,” said Charlotte County Sheriff Bill Prummell, task force chair and chairman of Drug Free Charlotte County. “I believe that promoting drug addiction as a health problem will create opportunities to overcome addiction, and Operation Pill Drop aligns with this effort by removing thousands of pounds of prescription drugs before they could be misused.”

Operation Pill Drop took place in the following counties: Bay, Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Columbia, Desoto, Duval, Hardee, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Jackson, Levy, Manatee, Marion, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Orange, Osceola, Pasco, Pinellas, Sarasota, St. Lucie and Volusia.