Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

For safety's sake, residents drop off old medicines

Jeannice Grant stopped at the Walgreens on Saturday before she went walking on the beach.

Unlike many people at the store, Grant wasn't there to pick up a prescription but to dispose of medications left when her father died in October at age 95.

The medicines had been taking up space in her cabinets and refrigerator, but she didn't want to simply toss them in the garbage. So when Grant saw that the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office was holding a fourth round of Operation Medicine Cabinet, she decided to take the prescriptions there.

Grant was far from the only one. Pinellas had a record-breaking day, collecting more prescription drugs than ever before at 19 Walgreens throughout the county, sheriff's spokeswoman Cecilia Barreda said. She said Pinellas also collected the most in the state and picked up a bonus as well.

"We got 814 pounds (of prescription medicines) and a gun," Barreda said. "It was a successful day."

Deputies will see the drugs are safely destroyed at the Pinellas County landfill.

Operation Medicine Cabinet began several years ago and spread nationwide. Pinellas County joined the movement two years ago, said Capt. Robert Alfonso of the sheriff's narcotics division. Saturday's event was the fourth for Pinellas and was a statewide effort that included others counties such as Hillsborough.

The goals of Operation Medicine Cabinet are threefold: education, prevention and environmental protection.

Education involves informing people about the prescription drug problem and the safe ways to store and dispose of medications. The program helps keep the drugs out of the hands of kids and others who might come into the household.

"That's how some of the pills are getting out on the street," Alfonso said.

Having the sheriff destroy the medications prevents them from entering the ecosystem, which can happen if they are flushed down the toilet or poured down the sink, Alfonso said.

Grant liked having a place to take her father's unused medications, which included insulin and heart drugs.

"The drugs he had were numerous," she said. And turning into the Walgreens at 674 Welch Causeway just off Duhme Road in Madeira Beach rather than tossing the drugs into the trash was no problem, especially considering the benefits.

"I don't need to contribute any more to our society's criminal activity," Grant said.

And, there was also the benefit of having a less cluttered refrigerator.

"I now have room for another apple," Grant said.

For safety's sake, residents drop off old medicines 08/21/10 [Last modified: Saturday, August 21, 2010 10:05pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Jones: Bucs need success to get national respect

    Bucs

    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones offers up his Two Cents on the world of sports.

    No respect

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field during the second day of mandatory minicamp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, June 14, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  2. Hopes fade after landslide destroys Chinese village (w/video)

    World

    Crews searching through the night in the rubble left by a landslide that buried a mountain village under tons of soil and rocks in southwestern China found 15 bodies, but more than 110 more people remained missing.

    Vehicles and people line a road leading to the site of a landslide in Xinmo village in Mao County on Saturday in southwestern China’s Sichuan Province. More than 100 people remained missing after the village was buried under tons of rocks and soil.
  3. Rookie Jake Faria dissatisfied with performance in Rays' loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The rookie pitcher walked to his locker Saturday after tossing the fourth quality start in as many tries to begin his career. He held the potent Orioles bats to three runs and for six innings gave his team a chance to win.

    Orioles third baseman Manny Machado tags out the Rays’ Mallex Smith at third after a rundown in the first inning.
  4. Thousands converge in two St. Pete locations celebrating LGBT rights

    Human Interest

    ST. PETERSBURG — Tom Rockhill didn't know what to expect Saturday, but by noon people were knocking on the door of his bar Right Around the Corner in Grand Central.

    (From left to right) Emma Chalut 18, gets a rainbow sticker on her cheek from her sister Ellie, 15 both of Jacksonville before the annual St. Pete Pride parade in downtown St. Petersburg on Saturday. This year the route was changed from the Grand Central and Kenwood area to Bayshore Drive.
[EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times]
  5. Retired Florida Supreme Court Justice Parker Lee McDonald dies

    TALLAHASSEE — A former Florida Supreme Court justice, who wrote a decision that prevented lawyers from excluding jurors because of their race, has died.

    Former Florida Supreme Court Justice Parker Lee McDonald died Saturday, the court said in a statement. He was 93.