Broward News

Fort Lauderdale Wants Your Pills

Bring out your pills! Leave no injectable behind! Think that two-year old bottle of codeine isn't safe to mix with Sprite? Ditch it!

Fort Lauderdale is hosting a no-questions-asked medication take back on Jan. 27 at 301 N. Andrews Ave. from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The city and much Broward County has long held the distinction of being the capital for illicit distribution of prescription pain medication.

Local and federal officials have been cracking down on pain clinics, also known as pill mills where doctors who prescribe any cocktail of medications with little medical examination and take cash payments.

Residents unable to attend the event, or who have medications they want to dispose of during the year can drop them in the secure collection box in the lobby of the Fort Lauderdale Police Department, located at 1300 W. Broward Boulevard. The lobby is open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week.

Fort Lauderdale held its first medication take back event in 2011. Since then it's become an annual event at the beginning of the year that' brought in more than 400 pounds of medication. They're not accepting any sort of syringes, medical waste or aerosol cans. The event is held at the same time as a hazardous waste collection, which according to a spokesperson brings out more people.

"It's in January because we tie it to our household hazardous waste," said Fort Lauderdale Public Works Spokesperson Monique Damiano.

Read Also: Federal Pill Mill Raid Shuts Pain Clinics Across South Florida Delray Beach Dermatologist Pleads Guilty in Attempt to Traffic Oxycodone Via Dead People

The city passes the collected drugs - everything from unlabeled medications to inhalers and pet medications - to Fort Lauderdale police and disposed. We're skeptical any OxyContin-addled pill fiends are handing over their stash for nothing in return. At least down in Miami-Dade residents were given Heat tickets for turning in guns.

"The medication that is collected at the event is not sorted, separated or categorized," Damiano wrote in an e-mail. "Thus, there is no data available regarding the specific types or amounts of medications collected. Once all of the medications are collected, the Police Department disposes of them according to state laws and regulations."

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Zachary Fagenson is the restaurant critic for Miami New Times, and proud to report a cholesterol level of 172.
Contact: Zachary Fagenson