Dozens of people attend local ‘Drug Take Back Day’ event to dispose of unused, expired medications

Dozens of people went to dispose of their expired and unused medications at the local HCA Memorial Hospital “Drug Take Back Day” event Saturday.

The hospital is partnering with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to help get drugs off the streets.

Annette Lawson dropped off a big load of pills Saturday morning.

“I have a big bag of medicine that I’ve been collecting for years,” Lawson said.

The 4th “Crush the Crisis” event aims to raise awareness about the dangers of prescription drug misuse and the importance of safe and proper disposal of unused or expired medications.

One bottle at a time, they’re crushing the crisis.

“We don’t want them in the wrong hands — and we don’t want to put them in the trash,”

Drug overdose is considered a public health, public safety, and national security threat.

“I work in the ER. I have for almost 10 years. I see lots of overdoses. I see lots of inappropriate medication use. It’s happening younger and younger and in every socioeconomic class, all age groups, all ages, and it’s a great opportunity to get those drugs off the streets,” Dr. Alison Mauk, with PharmD, said.

The CDC says 8.7 million people misuse prescription pain relievers each year.

“A lot of times people first get their hands on medications, they go into their parents’ medicine cabinet or their grandparents’ medicine cabinet, they have a headache and ‘oh, I’m going to take some Percocet left over from a knee surgery years ago.’ There is no need to keep those medications anymore – they are not being used appropriately,” Mauk said.

People dropping off the pill Saturday say they understand the risk.

“It’s really a bad epidemic now with all these drugs,” said Ted Simpson.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2022, there were more than 109,000 drug overdose deaths in the U.S. That is an increase from 2021.

“Today was the perfect opportunity to bring the big bag and just get rid of it all at one time,” Lawson said. “Keep everybody safe.”

If you couldn’t attend Saturday’s event to drop off your drugs, you can take them to a local CVS, Publix, or Walgreens at the following locations:


5858 Atlantic Blvd2875 University Blvd7117 Merrill Road


4475 San Juan Ave5999 Normandy Blvd414 Atlantic Blvd


6006 Beach Blvd1801 N Davis St7221 Normandy Blvd

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