Studies from the FDA show the majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from friends and family and are often taken from home medicine cabinets. Last week, a new Medsafe unit was installed in the WCH Pharmacy to help combat the growing epidemic of prescription drug abuse and provide a method for safe, DEA-complaint disposal of used or expired prescription medications. The unit operates similarly to a mailbox, with a secure drop slot to place prescriptions. As of April 2019, over 1,200,000 pounds of medications have been deposited into MedSafe receptacles nationwide. Once collected, the medications are incinerated.
The new containers can accept controlled and non-controlled medications in pills, tablets, capsules, as well as ointments, creams, lotions, and powders. There must be no more than 4 ounces of liquid medication and the liquids must be in original containers, wrapped in a paper towel and sealed in a plastic bag.
While most commonly prescribed medications can be disposed of through the Medsafe receptacle, there are certain restrictions.
Items tht cannot be diposed of include: aerosol sprays, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, needles, syringes or sharps containers, more than four ounces of liquid, trash, mercury thermometers, batteries, chemicals, durable medical equipment supplies or schedule I illegal drugs, such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin or meth.
The self-serve Medsafe unit is located on the second floor of the Hospital next to the prescription pick up window in Pharmacy. The unit will be available during regular Pharmacy Hours (7:00 AM – 8:00 PM – daily). For questions, please contact Todd Leopold at 419-354-8873.
“It’s important to properly dispose of unused and expired medications to reduce the risk of accidental exposure or intentional misuse. Prescription and over-the-counter drugs can pose a serious risk and we are working with the community to decrease this danger with the new MedSafe unit.”
– Todd Leopold, pharmacy director
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