Pinellas County Operation Medicine Cabinet (OMC) History
In Pinellas County, Operation Medicine Cabinet (OMC) is a multi-agency pharmaceutical take-back program aimed at addressing the problem of prescription drug abuse and keeping a clean environment.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), prescription drugs are misused and abused more often than any other drug, except marijuana and alcohol. Results from the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health by SAMHSA indicate that an estimated 655,000 adolescents aged 12 to 17 and 1.6 million young adults aged 18 to 25 were current non-medical users of psychotherapeutic drugs (prescription-type drugs) in 2014. These numbers represents 2.6% of adolescents and 4.4% of young adults. According to the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, nearly half of young people who inject heroin start by abusing prescription drugs. Furthermore, more than four in ten teens who have misused or abused a prescription drug has taken it right out of their parent’s Medicine Cabinet.
The goals of OMC are to:
- Provide awareness about prescription drug abuse.
- Protect children from accidentally ingesting medications.
- Educate the public on how to safely store medications.
- Take preventive measures in avoiding the theft of medications.
- Provide the public with a safe and proper way to dispose of medications.
- Protect the environment through incineration as opposed to disposing medications in the trash or down the drain.
This program is designed to safely collect unwanted prescription medications from citizens of Pinellas County at no charge.
Drop off your expired or unused medications during business hours at Operation Medicine Cabinet drop boxes located at two Sheriff’s Office locations and other various agencies:
If possible, please safely remove medications from bottles and place in zip lock bags. Liquids should remain within their original containers and the caps secured with tape. Remember to remove labels from the bottles and destroy them. This is the best way to dispose of your unwanted medications! The Pinellas Sheriff’s office is a dedicated partner in the effort to stop the illegal prescribing, sale and abuse of prescription drugs.
This program is for the general public, and not for commercial use, including doctors’ offices.
Accepted: Any prescription drug or medicine used for people or pets, including pills, liquids, inhalers, patches and Epi-Pens.
Not Accepted: No syringes, bio-hazards, or medical equipment. Over-the-counter medications such as hydrogen peroxide, vitamins, aspirin, cold medication, cough syrups, Tylenol, Pepto Bismol, Fish Oils, and any other similar non-prescription item(s), along with empty bottles or packaging are also not accepted at OMC Containers.
Questions about items not accepted in the Operation Medicine Cabinet Program can be directed to the Pinellas County Utilities Website at: www.pinellascounty.org/solidwaste/getridofit for answers on how to dispose of a variety of items.