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Ashley Moody urges Floridians to participate in Saturday's National Drug Take Back Day

'Florida is losing thousands of people to drug overdose deaths every year,' Moody said
National Take Back Drugs news conference in West Palm Beach. April 24, 204.png
Posted at 2:28 PM, Apr 24, 2024

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Attorney General Ashley Moody, during an appearance Wednesday at the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, urged Floridians to fight the opioid crisis by participating in Saturday's 26th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.

The day is hosted by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration to safely remove unneeded medications to help prevent misuse.

Moody also highlighted Operation Pill Drop, a service organized by PBSO and the Solid Waste Authority for a secure and convenient means for individuals to dispose of unused or expired prescription medications. Year-round boxes are available at district substations for collecting unwanted medication.

"It's not a good thing for the traditional way that people were getting rid of their medication is to flush it down the toilet, because now it is an environmental problem," Sheriff Ric Bradshaw, who appeared at the news conference, said.

In 2023, the boxes helped law enforcement gather more than 3,100 pounds of unwanted medications. Bradshaw said this year will surpass that amount.

“Florida is losing thousands of people to drug overdose deaths every year," Moody said. "While illicit fentanyl is the main cause of these preventable deaths, prescription medication found discarded in a friend or family member's medicine cabinet can often feed a fatal addiction. By participating in the upcoming Drug Take Back Day, Floridians can be part of the solution by safely disposing of expired or unwanted medications.”

During National Drug Take Back Day in October 2023, law enforcement officers in Florida collected more than 22,000 pounds of unwanted prescription drugs. Nationally it was nearly 600,000 pounds.

To learn learn more about National Drug Take Back Day and find participating locations visiting DEA.gov/TakeBackDay.

Moody also developed the Dose of Reality Florida website about the dangers of the opioid crisis, and a list of other year-round drug drop-off locations.

The 2022 Florida Medical Examiners Annual Report showed a decrease of more than 360 total opioid deaths in Palm Beach County from 2021 to 2022. Nationwide, more than 112,000 Americans died due to opioid overdose.

The DEA reports that more than seven out of 10 fentanyl-laced counterfeit pills contain a lethal dose, an increase from 2022.