Saturday is National Drug Take Back Day, when you can get rid of your unwanted or expired prescription drugs so they don’t fall into the wrong hands.
According to the latest numbers from the Florida Department of Health, Duval County ranks fifth in the state for opioid overdose-related deaths. The county averaged 59.8 overdose deaths per 100,000 people, according to the figures from 2021. The only countries with a higher rate were Highlands, Volusia, Escambia and Pinellas.
Dr. Alison Mauk with HCA Florida Memorial Hospital says events like Drug Take Back Day help to save people’s lives.
“8.7 million people misuse prescription pain relievers each year, and honestly a way that they obtain them is in like a prescription bottle that’s left in their friend’s medicine cabinet or their grandparents’ and they open the cabinet and they’re like ‘Hmm, maybe I’ll try this,’” Mauk said.
The National Drug Take Back Day ihappens in April and October each year. During the previous drug take back day, more than 32,000 pounds of items were collected at 220 collection sites across Florida, according to Attorney General Ashley Moody.
You can go to DEA.gov/takebackday to find a location near you in Northeast Florida. The event is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.