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Memorial Hospital offering chance to dispose of old prescription drugs

Police: don't flush or throw them away

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Prescription medication left in home medicine cabinets is a public health issue for adults, experts say. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, more than 6 million Americans abuse prescription drugs. That same study revealed more than 70 percent of people abusing prescription pain relievers got them through friends or relatives, a statistic that includes raiding the family medicine cabinet.  

Memorial Hospital and the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office are hosting an event to combat that issue.

Residents can safely dispose of their unneeded or expired medication from 9 a.m. to Noon on Saturday, April 1 at the Memorial Emergency Center-Julington Creek. Flushing medications down the toilet means where they could end up in the water supply. Disposing of them in the trash could put them in the wrong hands.

"Far too often we see children in our ERs who have ingested prescription medications, leading to injuries or even deaths that could have been prevented," said Dr. Frederick Jenkins, medical director of the Memorial Hospital emergency department.  “By hosting a prescription drug take-back event, we are able to provide a service to our community by offering people a safe way to properly dispose of their medications."

The prescription drug take-back event will also include free health screenings and education.  The Memorial Emergency Center-Julington Creek is located at 42 Doctors Village Drive, in St. Johns.