By Chris Fish
PALM BAY - On Saturday, Sept. 29, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., several sites throughout Brevard County will offer prescription drug "take-backs" to provide a safe disposal of unused or expired medication.
Health First's Palm Bay Hospital and the Palm Bay Police Department will provide a drop-off location for "Operation Medicine Cabinet" at the Health First Palm Bay Hospital.
"We are doing this to provide a safe place for community members," said Jackie O'Connell, communications manager at Health First Palm Bay Hospital. "It is very well-received, and we are glad we can provide this service."
"Operation Medicine Cabinet" will accept all non-prescription, over-the-counter medications, prescription medications and pet medications for discard. Those interested may bring in pills, liquids, ointments and lotions, left in the original packaging or placed in a sealable plastic bag.
For those who bring liquid medications, the hospital is asking to place it in a sealable plastic bag to avoid leaking.
Also, at the same time, the Melbourne Police Department in a collaboration with Federal Drug Enforcement Administration will offer a safe disposal site at police headquarters.
Sgt. Sheridan Shelley of the Melbourne Police Department said the event helps the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration curb prescription drug abuse, as well as aiding the environment.
"What we do is assistant the DEA by putting the word out and placing a drop-point for people to bring in prescriptions," Sgt. Shelley said. "A lot of times, people will flush unwanted prescriptions down the toilet to get rid of them, but they don't realize that the chemicals get into our water supply. That is another thing we are trying to alleviate."
Both events allow an anonymous disposal of the prescriptions.
"We don't offer anything for the meds like some places do for gun buy-backs, but we just want to get the word out that this is a safe way to get rid of unwanted medications," Sgt. Shelley said.
Both areas will not accept illicit drugs, such as marijuana and methamphetamines, as well as syringes or other materials that can be injected.
"Operation Medicine Cabinet" will not accept asthma inhalers, drugs in aerosol canisters or chemotherapy drugs, either in IV liquid or oral form.
Health First Palm Bay Hospital is at 1425 Malabar Road, N.E., Palm Bay. For the drop-off locations, use the West Physician Office building entrance.
The Melbourne Police Department is located at 650 N. Apollo Blvd. in Melbourne.
For more information about "Operation Medicine Cabinet" in Palm Bay, call (321)434-4335.
For More information about the Melbourne Police Department's prescription medication take-back, call Sgt. Shelley at (321)409-3361.