MARGATE (CBSMiami) — Police agencies in Broward took part in an initiative to take back unused and unwanted drugs from their homes.READ MORE: Man Held Without Bond In Killing Of Baby, Babysitter In Coral Springs
Sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Administration and CVS Pharmacy, residents in Hollywood and Margate were able to get rid of old, expired or unused medications on Saturday at designated drop off locations.
The National Drug Take-Back Day is aimed to address a public health and safety issue as medicines that hang around the cabinet too long are susceptible to theft, misuse and abuse, leading to accidental poisonings and overdoses.
“It eliminates from being thrown into the trash, or in the sewers,” said Margate Ofc. Amalin Guarino. “We also see that medication that goes unused, or just stays in the medicine cabinets where families just don’t know that it’s there, teenagers tend to see that it stays there, and nobody notices that it’d be gone, that also leads to teenagers abusing drugs.”READ MORE: Report: South Florida Counties Have High COVID Levels, Despite CDC Numbers
Officials said disposing of unwanted medicines by flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash poses a public health hazard.
The DEA’s free, no-questions-asked service was not accepting liquids or needles, however, only pills and patches.
“Last September, Americans turned in 350 tons of prescription drugs at more than 5,000 sites operated by the DEA and more than 3,800 of its state and local law enforcement partners,” officials said in a statement. “When those results are combined with what was collected in its 10 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in over 5.5 million pounds-more than 2,750 tons-of pills.”
As rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. have become alarmingly high, studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.MORE NEWS: COVID-19 Testing Site Finder
For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs, visit the DEA Diversion website.