South Florida authorities offered a little relief to residents with overflowing medicine cabinets.
The Broward Sheriff's Office and Miami Police both held events Saturday for residents who wanted to turn in unused or expired prescription drugs.
"This is a great service to all of us," Miami resident Nelly Marrero said. "It protects us and protects our families. It is commendable what they're doing and I'm very happy to hear they're doing that."
Miami Police partnered with the U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Agency to collect expired, unwanted or unused pharmaceutically controlled substances. The collection took place at the Miami Police Headquarters at 400 NW 2 Avenue from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Miami Police were on-site taking the controlled substances, no questions asked. They're mission? To keep residents safe.
"These drugs, just like I have here in my hands, can fall in the hands of a drug dealer or a child and they can be very dangerous and can have fatal consequences," Miami Police Sgt. Freddie Cruz said.
Meanwhile in Broward, Operation Medicine Cabinet, the BSO's prescription drug take back program, allowed participants to turn in unused or expired prescription medication to receive a $5 gift card.
The BSO also collected personal documents from those who wanted to dispose of them safely. The Shred-A-Thon allows residents to dispose of their personal documents, check stubs, credit card offers, receipts and any other paperwork that contains sensitive information. The service was free of charge, but there was a limit of five boxes per person.
Shred-A-Thon and the Operation Medicine Cabinet prescription drug were held from 9 a.m. to noon at 200 Gulf Stream Way in Dania Beach.
Officials said national efforts to collect old prescriptions has netted more than 300 tons of the controlled substances annually. The drugs are destroyed safely by authorities.
"We work here in the City of Miami with the DEA as other agencies have and we've had great success," Cruz said. "We've collected hundreds of thousands of pills, of vials, also needles and we've dispossed of them wisely."
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