The Pinellas County Diversion Task Force Coalition, in partnership with the LiveFree! Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition of Pinellas County, is collecting unused or expired prescription drugs for safe disposal Saturday.
"Operation Medicine Cabinet" lets residents turn in unused or expired medications that could potentially fall into the hands of an abuser or dealer. Last summer, more than 800 pounds of prescription drugs were collected at 19 locations throughout Pinellas County.
According to the District 6 Medical Examiner's Office for Pinellas and Pasco counties, fatal overdoses from prescription drugs continue to rise. Deaths by prescription drug overdoses — alone or with alcohol — have far outdistanced those associated with cocaine, marijuana, ecstasy, GHB and heroin.
Saturday's Operation Medicine Cabinet collection times are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the parking lots of several Sweetbay supermarkets, Walgreens stores and other locations across Pinellas County.
Drop-off containers at the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office Central Station in Largo and North District Station in Dunedin will be temporarily closed during the county-wide event, which is organized with the support of the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office and local police departments.
No biohazard items or needles will be accepted. The collection is intended for county residents, not for commercial use.
Sweetbay: 2460 East Bay Drive, Largo; Walgreens: 7400 66th St. N, Pinellas Park; and Seminole Mall: 7949 113th St. N, Seminole, on the Kmart side.
South county locations
Sweetbay: 7491 Fourth St. N, St. Petersburg; Sweetbay: 6095 Ninth Ave. N, St. Petersburg; Walgreens: 5701 22nd Ave. S, Gulfport; Sweetbay: 955 62nd Ave. S, St. Petersburg; Sweetbay: 6851 Gulfport Blvd., South Pasadena; Walgreens: 10551 Gulf Blvd., Treasure Island; and Dolphin Village Shopping Center: 4655 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach.
North county locations
Walgreens: 605 S Pinellas Ave., Tarpon Springs; Walgreens: 33670 U.S. 19 N, Palm Harbor; Sweetbay: 1681 Main St., Dunedin; Walgreens: 1701 McMullen-Booth Road, Safety Harbor; and Westfield Countryside Mall: 27001 U.S. 19 N, Clearwater, on the Sears side.
There will be an extended program with mobile collection at these two sites in Clearwater: On Top of the World, 2069 World Parkway Blvd. E, at the East Rec Center from 10 a.m. to noon; and On Top of the World, 2291 World Parkway Blvd. W, at the West Rec Center from noon to 2 p.m.
For more information, call the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office at (727) 582-6221 or LiveFree! at (813) 503-5658 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.