Pop your old prescription pills, narcotics or outdated vitamins safely, legally and anonymously into a mini Fort Knox at the Marco Island police station.
That’s the message from local police, as well as representatives from Drug Free Collier, who were on-hand Tuesday to unveil a sturdy prescription drug drop box in the small foyer next to the common area at City Hall.
It is just the second such box to be installed in the county for people to dispose of their old or unwanted meds, said Drug Free Collier representative Maribel DeArmas, who joined her colleague, Veora Little, along with MIPD personnel at a mini press conference.
Accepted into the tamper proof box — which will be accessible during regular weekday business hours from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., are controlled medications, narcotics, prescription medicines, over-the-counter meds, vitamins, epi-pens (unopened).
Not to be deposited in the box are needles, thermometers, IV bags, personal care products, hydrogen peroxide, aerosols, used epi-pens and mercury products such as Mercurochrome, and also iodine solutions and radioactive materials.
People dropping off items can black out any details if they feel more comfortable doing that, said Police Chief Thom Carr.
At any rate, he added, police volunteer and technician Ray McChesney will pack and seal the items during his two weekly collections, and thereafter take them directly to the Lee County incinerator for burning.
Carr added that cleaning one’s house of unwanted prescription drugs has the advantage of keeping them out of reach of children.
“Prescription drugs are the number one drug problem in the United States,” he said, “not cocaine or heroin.”
First person to take advantage of the new drop box was Jeanette Franchino, who got rid of three bottles of outdated prescription drugs.
“I think they dated back to 2007,” she said.
DeArmas and Little of Drug Free Collier said community take-back days will still continue, but said the collection boxes provide the freedom for drop-offs at any time.
At the small conference, Officer Jen Lofy of the MIPD was given credit for being instrumental in the acquisition of the drop box.