The accidental or intentional misuse of unwanted medicines can have severely hazardous effects on consumers, particularly in relation to the ongoing opioid crisis. Additionally, traces of medications are increasingly found in bodies of water across the country, a consequence of flushing medications down the toilet in lieu of safe disposal. To combat these risks and in alignment with the New York State Prevention Agenda, Lewis County General Hospital (LCGH) created the Community Safe Medication Disposal Initiative.
The initiative aims to prevent the mishandling of unwanted medications. Since 2011, LCGH has hosted a yearly take-back event, in partnership with the Drug Enforcement Agency, each April for community members. The Safe Pill Drop-Off Day gives residents an opportunity to dispose of medications safely. Since February 2017, LCGH has also offered a Medication Drop-Box for intermittent medication disposal throughout the year.
From 2011 to 2016, about 1,500 pounds, or 12 boxes, of medications have been safely discarded by more than 500 local residents. Between February 2017 and January 2018, 646 pounds of medication was securely discarded using the hospital’s Drop-Box.
For more information, contact Diane Loftus, Director of Pharmacy, Lewis County General Hospital, at (315) 376-2970 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.