On Sat., April 24, eight HCA Healthcare facilities will participate in the 20th Drug Take-Back Day, an initiative organized by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to safely dispose of expired, unwanted and unused prescription medications.

In partnership with local law enforcement and in adherence with local COVID-19 guidelines and regulations, community members are invited to safely dispose of their unwanted prescription drugs at the following HCA Healthcare drive-through sites from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.:

Orange County

·       Baldwin Park ER (2361 N. Semoran Blvd. in Orlando)

·       Hunter’s Creek ER (12100 S. John Young Pkwy. in Orlando)

·       Millenia ER (4056 Millenia Blvd. in Orlando)

·       UCF Lake Nona Medical Center (6700 Lake Nona Blvd. in Orlando) – New location now open!

Seminole County

·       Heathrow ER (4525 International Pkwy. in Sanford)

·       Oviedo Medical Center (8300 Red Bug Lake Rd. in Oviedo)

Osceola County

·       Osceola Regional Medical Center (700 West Oak St. in Kissimmee)

·       Poinciana Medical Center (325 Cypress Pkwy. in Kissimmee)

Participants may dispose of unwanted tablets, capsules, patches and other solid forms of prescription drugs during this event. Vaping devices and cartridges may also be disposed of at drop off locations provided lithium batteries are removed. Liquids (including intravenous solutions), illegal drugs, and syringes and other sharps will not be accepted.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. has seen an increase in overdose deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic, with 83,544 Americans overdosing during the 12-month period ending July 1, 2020, the most ever recorded in a 12-month period. The increase in drug overdose deaths appeared to begin prior to the COVID-19 health emergency but accelerated significantly during the first months of the pandemic.

Over the 10-year span of Take Back Day, the DEA has brought in more than 6,800 tons of prescription drugs. With studies indicating most abused prescription drugs come from family and friends, including from home medicine cabinets, clearing out unused medicine is essential.

“Potentially harmful prescription drugs can be found in households across the nation. It is often difficult for people to find a way to safely dispose of their unused medications,” said Heather Fuller, Vice President Pharmacy Services, HCA Healthcare North Florida Division. “Being a part of the DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is a great way to support efforts to reduce exposure to harmful substances and avoid overdose deaths.”