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Avoid Accidental Overdoses: Drug Take Back Day

Posted on Apr 18, 2023

A photo of a prescription medication

On Saturday, April 22, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital is hosting Drug Take Back Day in partnership with the St. Petersburg Police Department. The event will take place in the parking lot of the Johns Hopkins All Children’s Child Development and Rehabilitation Center, 880 Sixth St. S. in St. Petersburg where the community can drive up and drop off unused or expired prescription medications.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), about 50,000 children end up in emergency departments each year from getting into medicines while an adult may not have been watching. Meghan Martin, M.D., an emergency medicine physician at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital cares for these children in the Emergency Center.

“The Drug Take Back Days are a great opportunity for parents to remove something from their home that could be a risk to their child,” Martin says.  “We see kids accidentally getting into their parents’ medications from both poorly stored recreational drugs and prescription medications. This puts younger kids at risk for accidental overdose, which can be very dangerous.”

In fact, 42 percent of fatal poisonings involving opioids in the United States occurred in children ages 5 and younger from 2005 to 2018. This is just one of the many reasons Johns Hopkins All Children's is fighting against drug misuse.

“This event is a convenient way to reduce the risk of teenagers abusing or misusing medications, especially opiates. If these medications are no longer necessary, it's best to remove them,” Martin says.

Only pills, capsules and tablets may be dropped off. No liquids, injectables or inhalants will be accepted. St. Petersburg Police will dispose of medications safely and securely – no questions asked.

For more information, visit the Hopkins Medicine website.

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