Drop Boxes Come To the Rescue for Disposing of Old Medications

The pandemic has changed lots of things in our households. Maybe we even came up with new rules in our homes. It may have also led us to be hoarders. We started having a lot of excess stuff in our homes — such as used masks, lots of bottles of medicine that are expired or the ones we don’t need anymore

Elizabeth Skoy, an associate professor at North Dakota State University’s School of Pharmacy stated that “In recent years, there’s been a spotlight on medication disposal, because of the opioid epidemic,”. She also expressed that this is becoming a significant issue.“It’s important to get rid of any medication when you are done with it to prevent misuse or having it fall into the hands of others.” Also, keeping expired medications can be a risk of danger for your children and pets.

Even if we are aware of the severeness of the possible consequences of holding expired medicine, most of us don't know the best way to get rid of them. One of the best solutions is medication collection bins. Some state authorities are adding them to convenient locations starting with stores, health clinics, police stations, and other accessible sites. Kurt Henke, ambulatory pharmacy manager for Colorado’s Denver Health hospital system expressed “We decided in 2016 we wanted to be part of the solution,”. They have collection bins in each of its eight pharmacies. Starting in 2014, the infamous drugstore chain in America called CVS started putting them in police departments and adding them to its more than 9,000 retail locations in 2017. Some of the other states started putting bins as well. In North Dakota, the state’s Board of Pharmacy provides MedSafe which is a take-back box, to the pharmacies that request one. Until now, about 120 are participating.

Accepted for disposal:

* Over-the-counter medications

* Prescription medications including opioids and other controlled substances

* Prescription patches

* Prescription liquids

* Creams and ointments

CANNOT be disposed:

* Syringes or sharps

* Illicit drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, LSD and heroin

* Chemotherapy drugs

* Thermometers

* Inhalers or aerosol cans


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