On April 27, law enforcement agencies and DEA collaborating on national event to encourage people to properly dispose of prescription medications

Event to be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Image courtesy Sarasota Police Department

On Saturday, April 27, law enforcement agencies throughout Sarasota County will participate in a national event sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Association (DEA) to encourage the proper disposal of turned-in prescription medications.

The event will be conducted from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office has announced.

This will be the 17th opportunity in nine years “to prevent pill abuse and theft by [enabling people to rid] their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs,” a Sarasota Police Department news release says.

Both the Sheriff’s Office and the Sarasota Police Department have permanent drop boxes for medications, they point out in their news releases. The Sheriff’s Office drop box is located at the department’s headquarters, located at 6010 Cattleridge Blvd. in Sarasota, which is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.

The Sarasota Police Department’s permanent drop-box stands in the lobby at Sarasota Police Headquarters, which is located at 2099 Adams Lane in downtown Sarasota. That drop box can be accessed from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week, the Police Department notes.

The Venice and North Port police departments also have permanent drop boxes in their lobbies, the Sheriff’s Office news release says. Those law enforcement agencies will be participating in the April 27 event, as well.

Additionally, the New College Police Department, located at 501 College Drive, will accept unused and expired medication, the Sheriff’s Office reports.

Prescription and over-the-counter solid dosage medication — such as tablets and capsules — will be accepted, the release points out. “Liquids and needles will not qualify,” the release says.

While a box at each law enforcement agency headquarters is available to the public year-round, “agencies participate in the national turn-in initiative to publicize the permanent option for proper disposal,” the Sheriff’s Office release explains. Moreover, the release stresses, “Medication turn-in is always anonymous.”

“Drug turn-in events address a vital public safety and public health issue,” the release says. “Studies show that most abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from home medicine cabinets. Proper disposal of medication is also safer for the environment,” the release adds.

“Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines — flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash — both pose potential safety and health hazards,” the Sarasota Police Department release points out.

“Last fall, Americans turned in nearly 460 tons (more than 900,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at more than 5,800 sites operated by the DEA and almost 4,800 of its state and local law enforcement partners,” the Police Department release says. Overall, in its 16 previous Take Back events, the DEA and its partners “have taken in almost 11 million pounds — nearly 5,500 ton s— of pills,” the release adds.