Fall River Health Services is collecting unused and old prescription medications in the green Med Drop Box in the hospital lobby. They accept prescription drugs, ointments, patches, but no illegal drugs nor syringes. Shown are Pharmacy personnel Kathy Meyers, left, and Shelly Gardner PharmD, RPh. (Photo by Cathy Nelson/Fall River County Herald_
By Cathy Nelson
HOT SPRINGS – April 19 is National Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet Day. Fall River Health Services (FRHS) is providing a Med Drop Box in the lobby of the hospital, where people can take their expired and unused prescription medications.
FRHS is licensed by the Drug Enforcement Administration to collect old prescriptions. The police department no longer collects the prescriptions but directs people to FRHS, where the drugs have been collected since September and will continue to be collected in the future.
“A lot of people have used the drop box,” said Linda Keenan, who is a valet at the front entrance of the hospital.
National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day will be Saturday, April 27. April is the month to seriously get the old prescriptions out of your house and dispose of them properly.
Keeping old medications in the home medicine cabinet is a public safety issue. They can lead to accidental poisoning, overdose and abuse, said Shelly Gardner PharmD, RPh, who is the director of Outpatient Services and Pharmacy Manager at FRHS. Deaths caused by an overdose of prescription drugs have surpassed motor vehicle crashes as the leading cause of injury and death in the United States.
“The majority of teenagers abusing prescription drugs get them from family and friends--and the home medicine cabinet,” Gardner said. “Unused prescription drugs thrown in the trash can be retrieved and abused or illegally sold.”
Proper disposal of unused drugs saves lives and protects the environment. Drugs that are flushed contaminate the water supply.
The public is asked to do their part to help curb prescription drug abuse by disposing of their prescription drugs properly. Take them to FRHS and drop them in the green Med Drop box in the hospital lobby. Enter at the main entrance of the hospital, and the Med Drop box is to the right against the wall. The box is well-guarded with cameras and personnel.
All over-the-counter medications, prescription medications, patches, ointments and vitamins can be accepted. No illegal substances or syringes are accepted.
“Take-back programs are the best way to dispose of old drugs,” Gardner said.
FRHS is located at 1201 Hwy 71 South in Hot Springs.