Last year Palm Beach County documented over 382 deaths from unintentional overdoses of prescription drugs, according to Captain James Durr of the narcotics division of the Palm Beach sheriff’s office in a WXEL radio interview Monday night.
Many of these deaths were in adolescents who had obtained the drugs from their parents’ medicine cabinets. A majority were the result of overdoses of controlled substances, the most popular being 30 milligrams of oxycodone, known on the street as “blues”.
Durr said that young people often steal medications prescribed by doctors for their parents and participate in “pharm” parties in which they share handfuls of drug combinations with their friends. Often they mix the pills with alcohol. Apparently because these are legally prescribed medicines, teens don’t regard them as unsafe.
In an effort to educate the public about the dangers and the legal way to dispose of unused and out -of- date prescriptions drugs, Operation Medicine Cabinet will take place this Saturday, April 24, from 10 am until 4 pm at the following venues:
• Boca Raton Town Centre Mall (main entrance)
• Boynton Beach Mall (where Ruby Tuesday’s used to be)
• CVS -10th Avenue and Congress in Palm Springs
• CVS at 441 just north of Forest Hill Blvd, in Wellington
• CVS at Palm Beach Gardens and Military Trail
Individuals are urged to bring in all their unused medications to these sites during the above hours – no questions asked and CVS will provide $5 gift certificates for those who do so,
During past such operations, Durr said as many as 300,000 pills were collected in one day. “A surprising number of people have leftover and often expired prescription drugs in their medicine cabinets,” he said. He explained that the police know how to legally dispose of these drugs so that they don’t harm others. For example, when people flush unused drugs down the toilet or throw them in the trash, these substances can ultimately enter the drinking water or food supply.
When asked how parents react when they learn that their children are engaging in “pharm” parties or worse, when they die from overdoses of prescription drugs, Durr said there is tremendous denial.
For more information: Call the hotlne at 561-688-3804
Website with videos and news stories about dangers of drugs
Ladies Home Journal article The Killer In Your Medicine Cabinet