PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Getting outdated prescription drugs off the streets is the goal of the Drug Enforcement Administration.
The DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Event took place at locations across Panama City this weekend.
Walmart stores as well as Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center offered residents the opportunity to drop off their unused or unwanted medications, with no questions asked.
Director of Pharmacy at Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center, Michele Franklin,says the purpose of the drop off is to help combat the opioid crisis and give people an opportunity to turn in these unwanted medications safely.
“I was surprised at the amount of medications that we were able to collect. Its very nice that patients, ex-patients and family members of patients wanted to turn in medications did. Because it really does make our homes safer, so medications don’t get in the wrong hands. Even the smallest of children don’t know what they’re doing,” said Franklin.
The drop offs around Panama City were a success as staff at Gulf Coast Regional tell us they collected 179 lbs of medications at their location alone.
“Some medications can be harmful once they go past their expiration date, others can be abused or become addictive depending on what type they are. It’s not just the controlled substances that can become addictive either,” said Franklin.
The Bay County Sheriff’s Office takes possession of all these medications and once they gather all the turned in prescriptions. They will dispose of them properly through an incineration process.