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Drug Take Back Day: Drop off unused medications to help the environment and opioid crisis

Your unused medications can contribute to the opioid crisis and hurt the environment, Florida Poison Control officials say.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Do you know how many unused medications are in your home? Getting rid of them correctly can save lives and the environment, Florida Poison Control officials say.

April 22 is Drug Take Back Day and it's your chance to safely dispose of unneeded medications. Florida Poison Control Spokesperson Mike McCormick says this time there will be more locations participating and at five locations in Duval County, you'll be able to receive Narcan, a medication that can reverse an overdose.

McCormick says they will also be giving out Deterra, which is a container that can deactivate medications. At the last Drug Take Back Day, they collected over 4,000 pounds of medication.

"Studies show that 50 percent of people who become addicted to opioids say they got their first pill from a friend or a family member," McCormick said. "You look at the opioid epidemic that's going on in this country right now and the overdose epidemic in general, more than 100,000 people overdosed and died last year."

Safely disposing of medication isn't only important to curbing the opioid crisis, but to helping the environment. A new study by Florida International University finds more than a quarter of red fish caught in Florida had an unsafe level of pharmaceuticals in them.

Find the Drug Take Back Day closest to you here.

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