Orange Park, FL. – Orange Park Medical Center in cooperation with Clay County Sheriff’s Office, Florida Counterdrug Task Force, Clay Action Coalition and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) hosted a prescription drug take back day that resulted in the collection of 208 pounds of expired and unwanted medication.

The hospital hosts the event twice a year to educate the community on the risk of opioid misuse while providing a safe and anonymous way to dispose of left-over medications. “Since the start of the pandemic, our nation has seen an increase in opioid-related mortality and we know that a significant number of opioid addictions and overdose deaths come from individuals accessing unused opioids prescriptions of family and friends,” said Dr. Steven Goodfriend, Emergency Room Physician and Emergency Services Medical Director at Orange Park Medical Center. “Now more than ever we know our drug take back events are critical.”

Keeping unused pain medicine from past surgeries or procedures around the house is not safe. Dr. Goodfriend, says access to medication in the home is a major source of unintentional pediatric poisonings. In some cases, it only takes one pill to kill an infant or toddler. Each year approximately 6,000 emergency visits nationwide are related to children under the age of 6 ingesting medication without the oversight of an adult.

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. The hospital says, the safest and most responsible option to dispose of medication is to bring it to an event like this.

“We urge the community to take advantage of having a safe place to dispose of their extra medication twice a year,” said Dr. Goodfriend.

The drop off process is a quick, easy and drive-by style located outside of Orange Park Medical Center’s emergency rooms. Participants are greeted by a team that is specially trained to handle prescription drugs. 

The event collected tablets, capsules and patches of Hydrocodone (Norco, Lortab, Vicodin), Oxycodone (Oxycontin, Percocet), Tramadol (Ultram), Codeine, Fentanyl (Duragesic), Morphine, Hydromorphone (Dilaudid), Oxymorphone (Opana) and any other prescription medications.