The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office drug disposal program has gotten off to a strong start, collecting close to 20,000 pills, and over 1,000 containers (including inhalers, boxes, bottles and droppers) of other medications for safe, environmentally friendly disposal just in the early months of 2010. The Sheriff’s Office would like to remind everyone about the program, and the reasons why it is important to dispose of medications in the right way.
Proper disposal of prescription and over the counter medications is important. Flushing them down the toilet or sink can introduce dangerous and environmentally damaging substances into the water system; throwing them away in the trash can also introduce them into the environment, and runs the risk of them winding up in the wrong hands. The medications collected by the Sheriff’s Office are burned by Lt. Mike DiGiovanni, who operates the Sheriff's Burn Unit and who holds a special license to burn narcotics.
Upper Keys Lt. Nancy Alvarez cautions people who are going to bring their medications in themselves to make sure and keep prescriptions in the prescription bottle to show proof the prescription is legitimately theirs. "Technically, it is illegal to carry prescription medications around without proof it is prescribed to you," she said. "We'd hate to have someone arrested on their way in to drop the stuff off," she said.
People who call to have medications picked up can do so with no questions asked. "Our goal here is to dispose of this stuff properly, not to catch people with illegal pills," Alvarez said.
County-wide, citizens may bring no-longer-needed prescription drugs and other medications in for disposal, or call and someone will pick the medications up for disposal:
Please Note: The Sheriff's Office will not accept medications from commercial establishments.