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Organizations team up for 'Prescription Drug Take Back' events

Local event held Saturday at Orange Park Medical Center

ORANGE PARK, Fla. – As the fight against the opioid crisis continues locally, organizations are teaming up for "Prescription Drug Take Back" events.

Saturday's event was held at Orange Park Medical Center. It took place two days after President Donald Trump declared a national public health emergency in response to the opioid crisis.

The organizers, which include the Clay County Sheriff's Office and the Drug Enforcement Administration, were all satisfied with the number of people taking a stand against the crisis.

Five hundred pounds of medication were collected from people in the community who wanted to properly dispose of their prescriptions.

Since 1999, the number of American overdose deaths involving opioids has quadrupled. Recently-released numbers from the Centers for Disease Control found that around 64,000 people died from drug overdoses in 2016.

News4Jax learned at Saturday's event that it's very common for teens, babies and the elderly to get their hands on prescriptions that could be harmful to them, so Saturday's staff worked to combat the growing problem.

"The governor has made this a state of emergency, and we wanted to do our part," pharmacy director Jodi Graves said. "Our community is dear to us. We're here to support them, we want to make them safe and it's natural that we say, 'Come to the hospital. Take that back. We are here for you.'"