By Tamas Mondovics

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, is once again joining forces with local organizations to help residents properly dispense their unwanted and/or outdated prescription medications this month.

The effort known as Operation Medicine Cabinet is a partnership between Home Instead Senior Care of Sun City, the Sheriff’s Office and a number of local area facilities that provide ideal locations as drop off spots.

Operation Medicine Cabinet, is now scheduled for Wednesday, October 5, 2016, from 9 a.m. to noon at the Hawthorne Village of Brandon Assisted Living Facility located at 859 West Lumsden Ave.

The event will be held under the direction of Hillsborough County Sheriffs Office District 4, Gibsonton and Bloomingdale Community Resource Deputy Luke Hussey.

Hussey was recently chosen to fill in for and, eventually permanently replace Master Deputy Curtis Warren, who has served the Bloomingdale community as CRD since 2010, and who has been spearheading the drug take back events for a number of years.
Warren is now out of the office for health reasons.

Following in Warren’s footsteps, Hussey emphasized that expired or unwanted medication from households should never be disposed of by flushing them down the toilet or a drain.

Since its inception in 2006, Operation Medicine Cabinet has collected close to 7,000 pounds of prescription drugs and medications, a number that will continue to grow.

Home Instead Senior Care Franchise Owner Kristi Campbell put things in perspective during a recent drop off event when she said, “The message to our residents is pretty simple. It is about protecting both our elderly as well as our young residents, our families and our environment.”

All drugs collected at each event are taken to a Hillsborough County hazardous waste collection site for incineration.

To support the effort, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office has also installed permanent drug drop-off boxes at its four patrol district offices.

The drop-off boxes are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and are the result of an application in 2012 by the Hillsborough County Anti Drug Alliance (HCADA) for the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) to fund the project entitled “Hillsborough County Drug Take Back Initiative.”