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Police collect prescription drugs in drop boxes

February 6, 2012 3:07:54 PM PST
Police in Suffolk County hope that some new prescription drug drop boxes will help lessen the problem of drug abuse on Long Island.

In a Patchogue police station, Eyewitness News watched an officer harvest what looked like an entire drug store from a drop box.

It's one of seven drop boxes that police hope are making a dent in a disturbing problem.

"If we can do something to remove unwanted prescription drugs, we're going to be very successful at reducing crime in the future," said Det. Lt. Robert Donohue, Suffolk Co. Police Department.

Suffolk police lieutenant Bob Donohue calls it Operation Medicine Cabinet.

For the past year, they've maintained drop boxes in every police precinct so people can safely dispose of all kinds of drugs that are legal and not.

From the boxes in every Suffolk Police Precinct, cops have pulled more than two tons of drugs.

That's more weight than an average police car.

"Prescription drugs are great when they're used properly, and when they fall into the wrong hands, that's when we have some of these horrendous crimes," Det. Lt. Donohue said.

The scourge of addictive prescription drugs have to some of the worst cases anyone on Long Island can remember; from the execution of four people in a Medford drugstore, to the death of a Hempstead woman mowing her lawn, mowed down by an accused drug abuser.

Back at the Patchogue precinct, officers boxed up what they found, sealed it, and ultimately will send the pills off to be incinerated, so they can't find their way to the street.

Now, the program is poised to expand to Nassau Police facilities.

County leaders hope to put a stop to an explosion of drug fueled crime.

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