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National Drug Take Back Day Combats Opioid Abuse

Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Saturday is National Drug Take Back Day, in which people are encouraged to clean out their old prescriptions and properly dispose them. The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office is one of many police departments that will be participating.

Danny Alvarez, Spokesperson, said that properly disposing drugs will protect everyone from potential opioid abuse.

“The whole goal is to get those kind of drugs off the street that don’t need to be there if someone is not using it for one of their medical purposes,” said Alvarez.

The will also be at these sites. Ellen Snelling, Board Chairman of the Hillsborough Anti-Drug Alliance said that the organization wants to do everything they can to prevent further opioid abuse.

“It is such a huge problem right now and 12 people are dying a day in Florida from opioid overdoses. So anything we can do to play a part of preventing one death would help,” said Snelling.

Recently, Florida passed a law the limits the amount of pain relief prescriptions a person can receive to a three day supply. This hopes to dwindle the amount of leftover prescription drugs that can be abused. 

If you cannot make it to Saturday’s Drug Take Back Day, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office accepts drug drop offs at any time. All drug disposers will remain anonymous and can be deposited in labeled mailboxes. To find a drop off location near you, visit the

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Ashley Schiedenhelm is a WUSF/USF Zimmerman School Digital News Reporter for the spring of 2018.