Drug Take Back events play a ‘huge role’ in keeping potentially harmful drugs off the streets
JACKSONVILLE, Florida. – Countless potentially harmful drugs have now been taken out of the cupboards – and off the streets – thanks to the DEA’s Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday.
Area residents safely dropped off unused medicine at several locations, including HCA Memorial Hospital and HCA Orange Park Hospital, which hosted the Crush the Crisis events.
The events took place in Flagler, Duval, St. Johns and Nassau counties.
Medications will now be safely destroyed.
Dr. Molly Stott, a toxicology researcher at the Poison Control Information Center, said storing away unused drugs is the start of addiction.
“With the ongoing opioid epidemic, it’s scary to know that it starts at home most of the time, and we have so many ways to stop it, but it continues,” Stott said.
In 2021, there were more than 107,000 overdose deaths in the United States, 15% more than in 2020.
“A lot of the opioids that we see on the street actually come from people’s homes, so a lot of people can take their painkillers and they stop taking them because the pain is going away, and they’re still half full. a bottle of Percocet or Lortab or oxycodone in the cupboards, and one way or another, these drugs come out of the house into our wards,” said Dr. Scott Rhude of HCA Florida Memorial Hospital.
But it’s not just prescription drugs that cause the problem.
“Over the past three years, we have seen an increase in young girls taking over-the-counter drugs such as Tylenol, ibuprofen and Aleve, attempting to cause harm by using these drugs,” said Dr. Lindsay Schaackrothstein, Deputy Director. from the Florida Poison Information Center-Jacksonville.
Schaackrothstein said dropping off unused over-the-counter medications can also save lives.
“Usually parents don’t think about locking down these types of medications,” Schaackrothstein said. “Over-the-counter drugs. Again, they are easily accessible as they are usually not enclosed.
If you weren’t able to drop off your unused medications on Saturday, here’s another option: a Deterra bag. All you have to do is open it, put in your medicine, fill it with water and wait 30 seconds.
From there, just seal it up and throw it away safely in the trash. Bags can be purchased online.
Stott says if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call the Poison Information Center at 800-222-1222
“I implore you to call your local poison control center to see where unnecessary medications can be disposed of properly outside of these take-back events,” Stott said. “But these medication take-back events play a huge role in keeping our community safe.”
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