Hillsborough County opens four boxes to dump your old drugs

10/25/13 Ashley Whitney
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Tags: prescription, drugs, pill mills, Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, drug take-back


Tampa Bay area residents turned in hundreds of pounds of unwanted prescription drugs in April, 2013.

photo by Seán Kinane

Seven people die everyday in Florida from prescription drug overdoses. One way to reduce the availability of addictive drugs is for there to be a safe, easy way to dispose of unneeded prescription medicine. To that end, law enforcement departments are holding drug take-back events throughout the Tampa Bay area Saturday. In addition, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s office has set up four permanent drug take-back boxes where people can make sure their old pills don’t wind up in the wrong hands.

During a press conference this week, Colonel Donna Lusczynski with Hillsborough County Sheriffs Office laid out how individuals can dispose of potentially harmful medications.

“If an individual has unwanted, expired, or unused prescription medications, they can come to the nearest district office- bring the medication, show it to the desk deputy, and that’s merely a visual inspection to make sure that none of the packages are leaking and that is an acceptable item.”

The drug take back boxes will not accept syringes, epi pens, hazardous materials and medical waste. The boxes will be located inside each of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s four district offices. A deputy will make sure the drugs are safe to dispose of and then the person can place the item into the box.

“We are not collecting any personal information or identifiers so that can be strictly anonymous. Our hopes are that with removing these medications from homes, we can reduce the risk for potential abuse and accidental ingestions by individuals.”

Since 2009 the Hillsborough County Anti Drug Alliance has held two drug take back collections per year. In 2012 2,000 pounds of medication and prescription drugs were collected.
Ellen Snelling, a Hillsborough County Anti Drug Alliance board member, says the new boxes are an improvement over the twice a year collections.

“At these particular take backs a lot of times we have citizens asking, “what can we do in between, because we don’t want to store medication for six months.” So we all kind came up with this idea to have these permanent boxes to give this extra option where you can go in between the DEA take backs, in order to bring your medications.

The drug take back boxes opened Tuesday.

Locations of the four permanent Hillsborough County drug take-back boxes

The boxes are located at the following Sheriffs Office locations: District 1: 14102 N. 20th St. in Tampa District 2: 2310 N. Falkenburg Road in Tampa District 3: 7202 Gunn Highway in Tampa District 4: 503 33rd St. SE in Ruskin

Here are locations for drug take-back in Pinellas Saturday

The event is scheduled from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday on October 26, 2013.

Where: South County Locations: -St. Petersburg Police Department 1300 1st Avenue North, St. Petersburg (St. Petersburg Police Department Lobby)

-Gulfport Senior Center 5501 27th Avenue South, Gulfport (Gulfport Police Department)

-St. Pete Beach Rec Center 7701 Boca Ciega Drive, St. Pete Beach (Pinellas County Sheriff's Office)

Mid County Locations: -Pinellas Park Police Department 7700 59th Street North, Pinellas Park (Pinellas Park Police Department)

-Pinellas County Sheriff's Office (Sheriff's Admin Building - front lot) 10750 Ulmerton Road, Largo

North County Locations: -Westfield Countryside Mall (between LA Fitness & JC Penney's) 27001 US Hwy 19 N., Clearwater (Clearwater Police Department)

-Pinellas County Sheriff's Office (North District Station - front parking lot) 737 Louden Ave., Dunedin (Pinellas County Sheriff's Office)

Here are locations for drug take-back in Port Richey Saturday


Here are locations for drug take-back in New College, Sarasota, Saturday

Campus Police Station, where officers will safely dispose of them. Participation in the program is completely anonymous.

The station is at 501 College Drive, one block north of University Parkway on U.S. Route 41. Visitors should park in the Heiser Natural Sciences Center lot across from the station.

Here are locations for drug take-back in Hernando County, Saturday

Wal-Mart Supercenter located at 13300 Cortez Blvd. in Brooksville from 10 a.m. through 2 p.m.

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