Safely Disposing of Unused Drugs
For the 16th time in 8 years, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will hold National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, October 27.
OSF HealthCare is leading the way in the communities it serves in helping reduce the misuse of prescription medications that’s being seen across the country. OSF has installed safe, secure disposal boxes at the 13 hospitals across its Ministry. (Click here to learn more about the program and drop off box locations across the Ministry).
Additionally, in the Peoria-area, OSF HealthCare is collaborating with the DEA to have a special drop-off location at the OSF Center for Health – Route 91 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Saturday, October 27.
“It's a convenient way to get rid of your medications. We really wanted to be able to make this convenient for the north side of Peoria and the Dunlap area,” said Jerry Storm, Senior Vice President Pharmacy, OSF HealthCare.
Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.
“All national data indicates about 65% of patients receive the opioids from a friend or family member and they’re usually medications that’s left over from acute injury. And when I say they receive them from a family member, it could be that they weren't given to them, they were sitting in a cabinet, a friend comes over or a relative comes over and sees them in the medicine cabinet and they basically take them without permission,” said Storm.
Individuals are encouraged to drop off pills, capsules, herbal medications, and unused prescriptions. No liquids, or injectables or sharps can be accepted. Old inhalers also cannot be disposed of since they contain compressed gas and can’t be incinerated. Contact your local pharmacy for help in disposing of these items.
Since the installation of the drug drop-off boxes at OSF HealthCare hospitals, 1.65 tons of medication has been kept out of landfills and the water supply.