How to dispose of unused, expired medication

CDC: 70,000+ overdose deaths in US in 2019, more than 70% involved opioids

'Crush the Crisis' event bringing awareness to opioid addiction

ORLANDO, Fla. – Healthcare systems and law enforcement are teaming up to bring awareness to the opioid crisis nationally and locally.

“People who may have been prescribed prescription drugs for a legitimate purpose become addicted to those drugs,” Director of Pharmacy of UCF Lake Nona Medical Center Brittany Herring said.

The CDC reports 70,630 drug overdose deaths in the U.S. in 2019. More than 70% involved opioids.

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The issue is so bad in Orlando, the police department created an Overdose Investigation Unit in 2020.

“It is hard to see family and loved ones, sometimes children, seeing their fathers or mothers pass away due to these medications or fentanyl. That’s why we created the Overdose Investigative Unit,” Detective Manny Gonzalez said. “We respond to overdoses and target fentanyl dealers to help cut down on overdoses and deaths.”

HCA Healthcare that runs local hospitals, like UCF Lake Nona Medical Center, is partnering with Orlando police to host drug takeback events to help people safely dispose of their medication. An event held Saturday at several locations offered a safe place for people to dispose of their medication.

Orlando police said their event held back in April was a success.

“We got over a hundred pounds of prescription medication that could cause overdoses if it got in the wrong hands,” Gonzalez said.

If you missed Saturday’s drug takeback event, there are other ways and locations you can safely dispose of your expired or unused medication. The CDC has a list of procedures for disposing of medications at home. To learn more, click here.

Below is a list of prescription drug disposal locations in Orange County:

  • Orange County Sheriff’s Office Headquarters - 2500 West Colonial Drive, Orlando (M-F 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
  • NW Orange County Sheriff’s Substation - 1111 North Rock Springs Road, Apopka (M-F 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
  • West Orange County Sheriff’s Substation - 475 West Story Road, Ocoee (M-F 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
  • East Orange County Sheriff’s Substation - 11000 Lake Underhill Road, Orlando (M-F 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
  • Winter Park Police Department - 500 N. Virginia Avenue, Winter Park (M-F 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
  • Ocoee Police Department - 646 Ocoee Commerce Parkway, Ocoee (M-T 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., F 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
  • Orlando Police Department - 100 S. Hughey Avenue, Orlando (M-F 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.)

About the Author:

Crystal Moyer is a multimedia journalist who joined the News 6 team in February 2020. Crystal comes to Central Florida from WKMG’s sister station, WJXT in Jacksonville, where she worked as a traffic anchor and MMJ.