Operation Medicine Cabinet clears out 74 pounds of pills, drugs

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — The Indian River County Sheriff’s Office Second Annual Operation Medicine Cabinet collected more than 74 pounds of expired and unneeded prescription and over the counter drugs this weekend.

How much was collected at each of the eight individual sites was not immediately known.

Dozens of residents turned out to various drop off sites – some with a small plastic bag of pills, others with cardboard boxes filled with old medications – to safely dispose of their drugs.  

“I’ve been saving these for seven years,” said Eileen Medley, of Vero Beach, who dropped off boxes full of hospital-prescribed pills that she and her husband had acquired.

“I did not want to put them down the toilet,” Medley said after depositing hundreds of pills in a secure box.

She said she had been waiting and watching for an event such as Operation Medicine Cabinet to get rid of the drugs.

Indian River County Sheriff’s Sgt. Rick Vidiri and volunteers Tom and Matt Burger of Neighborhood Watch, ushered through several people who had lined up at their table set up in front of the CVS on 9th Street SW at Oslo Road.

The CVS was one of eight chosen sites throughout the county, which included the Fellsmere Police Department, the Indian River Shores Police Department, the Gifford Youth Activity Center, a Walgreens, and a Sunoco gas station.

“We’re doing really good today,” said Capt. Dave Chandler, who was stationed at the Walgreens on Roseland Road.

At least 25 people had stopped by the booth to drop off their pills, including pet medications, he said.

“I think this is wonderful,” said volunteer Donna Parkins, who helped Capt. Chandler Saturday with the collection.

Theresa Tolle, owner and pharmacist of Bay Street Pharmacy, stopped by, not to drop off drugs, but to see the operation in action. She said that she is considering offering her store as a drop off site next go-round.

Her business already recycles used prescription pill bottles, but is not currently equipped to take expired pills from clients.

“It would be a nice complement,” Tolle said.

Sheriff’s Director Jeff Luther said the department provides year-round prescription drug drop-off at its main building, 4055 41st Ave.

However, syringes and other such items should be dropped off at either Indian River Medical Center or Sebastian River Medical Center.

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