Pills collected by PBSO
Pills collected by PBSO

Palm Beach County Authorities Collect 5,500 Pounds of Pills -- but They Don't Know What Kind

Today, Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg, along with law enforcement and drug addiction specialists, will announce the results of an initiative to collect unused prescription medicine.

But whether that medicine was baby laxative or oxycodone, they don't know, because no one tracked the drug types.

The Palm Beach County Substance Awareness Coalition launched a dropbox program last year so people could safely dispose of unwanted or expired medications and ideally reduce prescription drug abuse.

Spokesperson Sharon Abramson says:

In the first year the coalition's dropboxes were in place, more than 5,500 pounds of pills were collected, the equivalent of a medium-size boat, an entire food truck or a Cessna, and collections are up more than 200 percent over the previous year. Also, prescription drug overdose deaths in Palm Beach County have dropped more than 15 percent during the same time period, according to Jeff Kadel, executive director of the Palm Beach County Substance Awareness Coalition.

The program took in a huge haul -- but it's unclear what kind of haul.

Asked for a breakdown of what types of drugs they collected, Abramson says that per Jeff Kadel, the coalition's director, the pills do not get sorted. The Palm Beach Sheriff's Office "collects and weighs them, and they are incinerated."

Still, any drug off the street is probably a good thing, what with teenagers taking fake acid and little kids OD'ing on diabetes medicine.

Email Deirdra.Funcheon@browardpalmbeach.com

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