By Tamas Mondovics

Under the supervision of HCSO District 4 Master Deputy, Curtis Warren, the popular and quite effective community service program, “Operation Medicine Cabinet,” has once again proved to be an important and successful endeavor resulting in the collection of hundreds of pounds of unused and unwanted medication and prescription drugs.

Held last month at Hawthorne Village of Brandon Assisted Living facility, located at 859 W. Lumsden Rd. in Brandon, the event was well-received and supported by many in the community.

Since its inception in 2006, “Operation Medicine Cabinet” has collected more than 6,000 pounds of prescription drugs and medications as it works in conjunction with Home Instead Senior Care.

Unused and outdated drugs that sit in our cabinets can lead to misuse by children, seniors or anyone with access to a home medicine cabinet,” Warren said.

Cough medications and over-the-counter sleep medications can be a source of juvenile substance abuse, while for senior residents, a crowded medicine cabinet also presents problem.

“It is easy to pick up the wrong drug or use prescriptions incorrectly,” Warren said. “A simple mistake can result in severe illness or worse, death.”

Home Instead Senior Care Franchise Owner, Kristi Campbell, spoke highly of the program drawing attention to the proper disposal of old unused or unwanted drugs.

“The message to residents is simple,” she said. “Expired or unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medications from households should never be disposed of by flushing them down the toilet or a drain.”

Campbell emphasized that although this method of disposal prevents accidental ingestion, it can cause contamination of Florida’s aquatic environment because waste water treatment systems are not designed to remove many of these medications. As expected, that effort has once again proved successful as the truck used by deputies to haul the drugs to a county hazardous waste collection site for incineration was filled to capacity.

“It’s just what we expected and want to see every time we host the event,” Warren said as he summed up the project and its benefits. “We hope that our citizens will continue to take advantage of this important community service program.” For more information, please contact Kristi Campbell at Home Instead Senior Care at 684-1972.


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