JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – This Saturday, Oct. 24th, area hospitals and their select freestanding emergency rooms will be partnering with local law enforcement agencies to host a Crush the Opioid Crisis Drug Take Back Day, sponsored by The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
The goal is to educate the community on the risk of opioid misuse while providing a safe and anonymous way to dispose of left-over medications.
The event will be held from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm at the following locations:
- Memorial Hospital Medical Office Building– 3627 University Blvd. S. Jacksonville, FL 32216
- Memorial Emergency Room Julington Creek–42 Doctors Village Dr. Saint Johns, FL 32259
- Orange Park Medical Center Emergency Room – 2001 Kingsley Avenue Orange Park, FL 32073
- Normandy Park ER – 5773 Normandy Blvd. Jacksonville, FL 32205
Since the pandemic began, 40 states have reported increases in opioid-related mortality, according to the American Medical Association (AMA).
“We know that a significant number of opioid addictions and overdose deaths come from individuals accessing unused opioids prescriptions of family and friends,” Dr. Steven Goodfriend, Emergency Room Physician and Medical Director at Orange Park Medical Center, said.
Keeping the unused pain medicine from past surgeries or procedures around the house is not safe.
“More than half of people who misuse opioid medications say they obtained them from someone they know," Dr. Fred Jenkins, Emergency Room Physician and Medical Director at Memorial Hospital said. "In the past year, two-thirds of teens who misused pain relievers reported that they got them from family, friends and the home medicine cabinet. And every minute of every day, a poison control center answers a call about a young child who has accidentally ingested medication.”
“The safest and most responsible option to dispose of medication is to take unwanted medications to a drug take back site or event,” said Dr. Goodfriend. “Unused opioids thrown in the trash can be retrieved and abused or sold illegally and flushing medications down the toilet pose a potential health and environmental hazard.”
All Drug Take Back locations will be drive-thru style.
Participants are asked to remain in their vehicles and wear a face-covering during their drop off.
The participating locations will be collecting tablets, capsules and patches of Hydrocodone (Norco, Lortab, Vicodin), Oxycodone (Oxycontin, Percocet), Tramadol (Ultram), Codeine, Fentanyl (Duragesic), Morphine, Hydromorphone (Dilaudid) and Oxymorphone (Opana). We will not be able to accept needles, syringes, lancets or liquids.
“HCA Healthcare is committed to bringing frontline solutions to curb the tide of opioid misuse and addiction in the communities that we serve,” Dr. Jenkins said. “COVID-19 has exacerbated the opioid epidemic, and the effort to crush the crisis is now more important than ever.”