Health Care
11:21 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Palm Beach County Expands Drug Take-Back Program

Twenty-two drop boxes like this one give Palm Beach County residents places to safely dispose of their old prescription medications.
Twenty-two drop boxes like this one give Palm Beach County residents places to safely dispose of their old prescription medications.
Credit C. DiMattei

Palm Beach County wants your drugs.

Actually, the county only wants the medications taking up space in your bathroom cabinet, the ones that might end up in the wrong hands. 

At first glance, the receptacles cropping up all over Palm Beach County look like the donation bins that collect old clothes for charity.  But printed on the front of each drop-off box is the urgent instruction to “Deposit Your Unwanted Prescription Drugs Here!” 

Jeff Kadel, executive director of the Palm Beach County Substance Awareness Coalition, says Florida's statewide crackdown on pain clinics and pill mills is only one way of reducing prescription drug abuse.

“We addressed the issue from a macro level; and now it’s time to do it at a micro level," says Kadel.  "Over 20 percent of kids who have been in treatment for abusing prescription drugs say they got them by stealing them out of a medicine cabinet."

Improper disposal of unused or expired medications can also cause environmental problems.  Kadel says unwanted prescription drugs flushed down sinks or toilets could eventually make their way into the community’s water supply.

A new website, www.pbcdrop.org, provides a complete list of acceptable items and Rx drop box locations from Boca Raton to North Palm Beach.