MCSO to sponsor Operation Medicine Cabinet on April 29

STAFF REPORT

On Saturday, April 29, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public its 13th opportunity in seven years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous, expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs. (The DEA cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills or patches.)

The event is part of National Drug Take Back Day and the service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

Last October, Americans turned in 366 tons (more than 730,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at almost 5,200 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,000 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 12 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in more than 7.1 million pounds — more than 3,500 tons — of pills.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.

In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines — flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash — both pose potential safety and health hazards.

MCSO has its own Drug Drop Off Program — Operation Medicine Cabinet. You may dispose of all unwanted and unused prescription drugs at all MSCO office locations. Our Theodore substation is a 24-hour drop off station.

Other locations include:

Walgreens: at 6396 Airport Blvd., 3948 Airport Blvd., 5705 Cottage Hill Road.

CVS: at 2550 Dauphin Street, 44523 Old Shell Road, 1401 Hilcrest Road, 4881 Schillinger Road, 10115 Grand Bay Road in Wilmer.

Costco: at 1450 Tingle Circle.

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