An Operation Medicine Cabinet Collection Event is being planned for April 28, 2012 at locations throughout Southern Nevada. Detailed location information is coming soon.

Operation Medicine Cabinet Featured on Spanish Language News

>> Wednesday, January 27, 2010

KINC-TV (Univision-Las Vegas) featured Operation Medicine Cabinet in a report during its 11 p.m. newscast on Jan. 25.


Drug Deaths on the Rise in Clark County

>> Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Did you know that in 2000 there were 219 drug-medication related deaths in Clark County? While this number is disconcerting, according to the Clark County Coroner's Office the number of annual deaths more than doubled to 456 by 2008. Last year there were 464 deaths, but that number is likely to rise as dozens of cases are still pending.

By securing your prescription drugs and safely disposing your unused and expired drugs, you can limit access to teens and prevent unnecessary deaths to overdose.


Survey Data Shows Where Teens Get Drugs

>> Monday, January 25, 2010

According to the 2009 Monitoring the Future survey of 12th graders by University of Michigan, 18.6 percent of the respondents who misused or abused prescription drugs took them from a friend or relative. More than half (51.1 percent) were given prescription drugs. Another 33.6 percent bought them. Emptying our medicine cabinets of expired and unused drugs is just one way to ensure prescription drugs don't end up in the wrong hands.

Empty your medicine cabinet and drop off your unused and expired drugs during Operation Medicine Cabinet on Feb. 20 at the Las Vegas Sports Center.


KLAS-TV Channel 8 Helps Spread The Word

>> Thursday, January 21, 2010

KLAS-TV Channel 8 (CBS-Las Vegas) is helping get the word out about Operation Medicine Cabinet with a new PSA featuring veteran news anchor Paula Francis.

You can help spread the word about Operation Medicine Cabinet on Facebook. Become a fan of Operation Medicine Cabinet page and tell your friends.


Operation Medicine Cabinet to Collect Expired and Unused Prescription and Over-the-counter Drugs

>> Tuesday, January 19, 2010

With the rate of prescription and over-the-counter drug misuse and abuse on the rise in Southern Nevada, a coalition of local organizations have partnered to cut the drug supply line: home medicine cabinets.

Unused and expired medications will be collected anonymously and with no-questions-asked for safe and proper disposal during the Valley’s first-ever “Operation Medicine Cabinet.” The one-day event takes place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 20 at the Las Vegas Sports Center at 121 E. Sunset Road, located at the corner of Las Vegas Blvd. and Sunset Road.

“Our goal is to ensure that unwanted medications don’t end up in the wrong hands,” said Sgt. Paul McCollough, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s Narcotics Division. “People vulnerable to misuse and abuse, such as children and teens, get into medicine cabinets at home or while visiting friends and family to acquire entire bottles or just a few pills at a time. These pills are often illegally sold or traded to others.”

According to the Partnership for a Drug-Free American, prescription and over-the-counter drugs have emerged as the “party” drugs of choice for many teens. A 2008 study by the organization showed that one in five teens has tried Vicodin®, a powerful and addictive narcotic pain reliever; one in 10 has tried OxyContin®, another prescription narcotic; one in 10 has used the stimulants Ritalin® or Adderall® for nonmedical purposes and one in 11 teens has admitted to getting high on over-the-counter cough medicine.

Dr. Paul Oesterman, associate professor of pharmacy practice and faculty advisor for the University of Southern Nevada’s Drug Abuse Awareness Team, says these numbers mirror what the team has observed through their work with students in Valley schools.

“Despite some high-profile tragedies associated with prescription drugs, such as Michael Jackson and Danny Gans, most people, particularly youth, are either unaware of or not concerned with the potential chemical dangers of these drugs,” said Oesterman. “There are varying strengths, side-effects and interactions to consider when taking medications that aren’t prescribed to you by a doctor or are simply misused. Unfortunately, the result can be great bodily harm or even death.”

The rise in number of prescription drug-related deaths in Clark County over the past decade is astounding, says Clark County Coroner P. Michael Murphy, DBA.

“In 2000, the Clark County Coroner’s Office reported 171 accidental drug and medication related deaths in the county. The numbers have increased each year. In 2009 there were 397, with dozens of cases still pending final report,” said Murphy.

Bruce Gentner, founder of the Narcotics Education Foundation of Nevada and detective with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said, “In addition to regularly cleaning out your medicine cabinet and safely disposing unwanted drugs and medications, it is also critical that the public safeguard their current medications at home, including limiting access and keeping track of quantities. It’s also important, especially for parents, to make certain that friends and relatives do the same.”

Operation Medicine Cabinet is a partnership of the University of Southern Nevada Drug Abuse Awareness Team, Narcotics Education Foundation of Nevada, Southern Nevada Water Authority, Clark County Coroner’s Office, KLAS-TV Channel 8 and Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.


Do You Know How To Properly Dispose Unused Medications?

>> Monday, January 11, 2010

Properly disposing unused prescription and over-the-counter drugs helps protect children, pets and the environment. The University of Southern Nevada College of Pharmacy offers the following information:


  • Flush your medication/drugs - Flushing drugs down the toilet has been shown to pollute water supplies.
  • Pour your medication/drugs down the drain - Even small amounts of drugs may affect fish and wildlife.
  • Give unused medications/drugs to family, friends or co-workers - Your medication/drugs were prescribed specifically for you by a doctor and could be harmful to others based on their medical conditions as well as potential drug interactions.
Steps for Disposing Drugs:
  • Collect all medications/drugs that are expired or no longer being used.
  • Remove all labels containing personal information from empty medication containers. Leave all warning labels.
  • Place all solid medication (pills, capsules, etc.) into a sealable plastic bag.
  • Gently crush the medication with a heavy object.
  • Carefully open sealed plastic bag and pour contents back into the medication container, if available, and add an absorbent product, such as kitty litter, saw dust or coffee grounds.
  • Add liquid medications.
  • Seal shut the container and/or tape the plastic bag shut and discreetly discard in the trash.
If you have questions regarding your medications/drugs, talk to your pharmacist.


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