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 statistics, prescription drugs are now the number one abused drug in the United States, surpassing all other illicit drugs. The partnership for a Drug-Free America reports that approximately 2,500 teens every day try prescription drugs for the first time to get high. Additionally, according to a 2009 SAMHSA report, nearly 70 percent of those users obtained prescription drugs from the family medicine cabinet or friends. In Pinellas County, prescription drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental deaths.
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:
- The Sheriff’s Administration Building
10750 Ulmerton Rd.
- The Sheriff’s North District Office
737 Louden Avenue
- Treasure Island Police Department
- Clearwater Police Department
- Largo Police Department
- Pinellas Park Police Departmet
- Tarpon Springs Police Department
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: http://www.pinellascounty.org/utilities/getridofit/ for answers on how to dispose of a variety of items.
Download an updated list for the Pinellas County OMC Countywide Program (total collected weight). We are approaching 13,624 pounds (7 tons) of collected medications since the program began in May of 2009.