Memorial Hospital August 28, 2019

Jacksonville, FL, Orange Park, FL, and Waycross, GA - The numbers are staggering. More than 130 people die every day from an opioid overdose and more than half of the people who misuse these drugs get them or steal them from someone they know. That's why we are looking to #CrushTheCrisis.

On Saturday, September 7, from 10 am – 2 pm, Memorial Hospital Jacksonville, Memorial ER Julington Creek, Orange Park Medical Center's Normandy Park ER and Memorial Satilla Health will be hosting drug take back events. During the event, anyone can drop off unneeded, unused or expired medications at any of their four locations. In partnership with local law enforcement agencies, we will make sure these drugs don't get into the wrong hands.

Chief Medical Officers John Lazenby, MD (Jacksonville), Brad Shumaker, MD (Orange Park) and Emergency Medicine physician Wael Azer, MD (Waycross) concur: Keeping unused opioids around the home is just not safe. We want to make sure our friends and neighbors have a place to safely dispose of these very addictive drugs.

Drop off locations:

  • Memorial Hospital Jacksonville:
    3625 University Blvd. S., Jacksonville, FL (drive-through at Medical Office Building entrance)
  • Memorial Hospital's Julington Creek ER:
    42 Doctors Village Drive, Saint Johns, FL (drive-through will be set up at entrance)
  • Orange Park Medical Center's Normandy ER:
    5773 Normandy Blvd, Jacksonville, FL (drive-through will be set up at entrance)
  • Memorial Satilla Health
    1900 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA (drive-through at Heart Center entrance)

These events are one of dozens of medication take back events being held across the country by HCA Healthcare facilities. With 185 hospitals and approximately 2,000 sites of care, HCA Healthcare is committed to curbing the tide of opioid misuse and addiction.

What are opioids?

Opioids are a class of drugs used to treat active and chronic pain and are often prescribed following surgery, injury or for health conditions such as cancer.

  • Common types of prescription opioids include oxycodone (OxyContin), hydrocodone (Vicodin), codeine, morphine and methadone.
  • Other opiates include fentanyl and heroin

Why are opioids addictive?

Opioid medications bind to the areas of the brain that control pain and emotions, driving levels of the feel-good hormone dopamine in the brain's reward areas and producing an intense feeling of euphoria. As the brain becomes used to the feelings, it often takes more and more of the drug to produce the same levels of pain relief and well-being, leading to dependence and, later, addiction.