BRADENTON -  Blake Medical Center hosts the Hospital Corporation of America's first national "crush the crisis" opioid take back day. 

"We encourage people to come by the medical arts building today and bring any of their unused or expired medications for a safe and proper disposal," Blake Medical Center's Lisa Kirkland said. 

A collection such as Saturday's is a far safer alternative than throwing away an opioid at home. 

"Many people when they go to clean out their medicine cabinet or unused or expired prescriptions from their home, they might not even think about throwing it in the trash can or what that might mean. Doing that would make it possible for someone to find that medication, potentially sell it illegally or ingest it themselves," Kirkland said. 

Partnering with Blake Medical Center's effort is the Bradenton Police Department. 

"Today, we have already taken back more drugs than we would take back in a bin that we have in out front lobby in a six month span," Bradenton Police Officer Josh Cramer said. 

Crush the Crisis is a step in the right direction to combat the pressing opioid problem on the Suncoast. 

"We had a patient come in just a few minutes ago and mention that she had tried a pill one time and couldn't stand what it did to her and she had several more in that bottle. If those were just thrown away, people take opportunities to misuse drugs and if they can get a free bag at the curbside they're going to dig through the trash to find it," Cramer said.