From APD News

This week the Apopka Police Department (APD) installed a medication collection box in the lobby of the police department – part of progressive efforts to combat the addictive and deadly impacts of opioids.

The APD is joining more than 3,000 law enforcement agencies across the United States to tackle this growing drug epidemic, which reaches all segments, ages, and incomes in our communities.

The collection box is a secure green container bolted into the police department lobby, 112 E. Sixth St. Expired or unneeded prescriptions may be placed in the box during business hours (Monday through Friday from 7:00 am – 6:00 pm). Anyone needing assistance will be aided by an Apopka officer or clerk. 

The collection box is a safe, simple, secure and environmentally friendly way to help law enforcement agencies and communities collect unwanted or expired household medication, including prescriptions, over-the-counter drugs, and unused pharmaceuticals. Unused medications should not be flushed down toilets or sinks; this practice can introduce drugs into our reclaimed water system and sometimes appear in potable underground water sources.

Do not dispose of drugs in the garbage for curbside collection. That makes drugs available for theft and illegal use.

Prescriptions (patches, ointments, pills, etc.) will be collected along with non-prescription medications, such as cold medicines, aspirins, and other over-the-counter medications.

Hazardous materials, aerosols, needles, and other items are not able to be collected through the collection box. 

This drop-off program is part of an overall strategy by the APD to combat the opioid problem growing throughout Central Florida and national communities. “Prescription medication abuse is a rising problem in the community,” said Apopka Police Chief Michael McKinley,” we hope to provide a simple method to dispose of prescription narcotics and other medications so they don’t fall into the wrong hands and become abused.”

 Often teenagers and other family members take legitimate prescription medications from their relatives. Medications at home should be secured, and when no longer needed, they should be disposed of in a safe and secure manner. The installation of this secure collection box at the police department will provide members of the community the ability to remove the medications from their home and ensure they will be destroyed appropriately.

 In a separate effort, the APD is issuing Naloxone kits (more commonly known as Narcan) and training officers to help save lives from increasingly common opioid overdoses.

 Opioids often are prescription painkillers such as morphine, methadone, hydrocodone, and oxycodone. Heroin also is an illegal opioid. The majority of drug overdose deaths (more than six out of ten) involve an opioid. From 2012 to 2016, the Orange-Osceola Medical Examiner’s Office reported an increase from 98 to 189 opioid-related deaths. Since 1999, the number of overdose deaths across the country involving opioids (including prescription opioids and heroin) quadrupled. With the increase in prescription opioids and the law enforcement efforts making heroin more and more difficult to obtain, prescription abuse has become more prevalent over the last few years. Additionally, with synthetic narcotics becoming more powerful and available, (such as fentanyl), communities have seen an increase in abuse and overdoses. An estimated 91 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose.

As a community-wide effort, Apopka can help to control the spread of opioids. For questions, contact the APD at 407-703-1771.

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