TAMPA, Fla. (April 19, 2020) – The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is teaming up with law enforcement agencies and the Hillsborough County Anti-Drug Alliance in the Tampa Bay area on Saturday, April 24, 2020, for Prescription Drug Takeback Day.
National Prescription Drug Takeback Day (10 a.m. – 2 p.m.) allows people to clean out their medicine cabinets and dispose of any unused or expired prescription drugs safely and anonymously to prevent drug addiction and overdose deaths.
It’s crucial to be aware of the dangers of keeping these old pills, particularly narcotic painkillers such as OxyContin, Percocet and Vicodin. Prescription drug abuse is the use of a medication without a prescription, in a way other than as prescribed or for the experience or feelings elicited. According to several national surveys, prescription medications, like those used to treat pain, attention deficit disorders and anxiety, are being abused at a rate second only to marijuana among illicit drug users. Consequences of this abuse have been steadily worsening, reflected in increased treatment admissions, emergency room visits and overdose deaths.
The 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that 9.7 million people misused prescription pain relievers, 4.9 million people misused prescription stimulants, and 5.9 million people misused prescription tranquilizers or sedatives in 2019. The survey also showed that a majority of misused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet.
In the Fall of 2020, there were more than 4,500 takeback sites across the country that collected almost 985,392 pounds (or 492.7 tons) of prescription drugs and medical supplies. Despite the global pandemic and fewer collection sites, this was the largest amount of drugs collected by far! Locally, more than one thousand pounds of expired and unused medications were disposed of safely.
New this year, residents can also pick up Deterra drug disposal baggies at the drop-off locations for their own use at home. These items are being distributed for free, upon request, thanks to HCADA partnerships. The drug disposal baggies will allow you to dispose of any prescription drugs or other medicines without polluting the water or ground through unsafe disposal methods like tossing them in the garbage or flushing them down the toilet.
There are four collection sites throughout the Tampa Bay area where residents can drop off prescription drugs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and be sure their unused or expired medications will be disposed of safely:
2 Locations Sponsored by Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office
• Brandon Regional Hospital, 425 S. Parsons Ave., Brandon FL 33511 (across the street from the hospital)
• Walgreens, 8398 Sheldon Rd., Tampa, FL 33615
1 Location Sponsored by Plant City Police Department
• CVS, 2302 James L. Redman Pkwy., Plant City, FL 33563
3 Locations Sponsored by Tampa Police Department
• CVS, 3102 Gandy Blvd., Tampa, FL 33611
• CVS, 2911 E Fowler Ave., Tampa, FL 33612
• Walgreens, 17511 Bruce B. Downs Blvd., Tampa, FL 33647
About Hillsborough County Anti-Drug Alliance:
Hillsborough County Anti-Drug Alliance (HCADA) has been in existence, active in the community and supportive of law enforcement, the court system, prevention agencies, and substance abuse treatment providers since its inception in 1989. In 2003, HCADA restructured as a 501(c) (3) to apply for grant funding. Subsequently, HCADA expanded its community-based alcohol, tobacco and substance abuse education and prevention activities. It participates as well in the development of related planning strategies, statewide in scope, for the betterment of the Hillsborough County community. HCADA offers open membership and participation to all interested individuals and continues to provide a public forum for sharing information and new ideas. For more information about HCADA, visit drugfreehillsborough.org.