Mercy Health is proud to once again participate in the annual Drug Take Back Initiative on Saturday, April 30, which offers the community an opportunity to safely dispose of unused or expired medication.
The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications. While it is a nationwide initiative, the day is made possible locally through the partnerships of area police, municipal and health care organizations.
Medication drop boxes can be found at both Mercy Health – Urbana Hospital and Mercy Health – Springfield Regional Medical Center. The drop box at Urbana is located inside of the hospital’s Emergency Room – just left of the main check-in desk. At Springfield Regional, the drop box can be found inside of the medical center’s Outpatient Pharmacy – located just past the main information desk.
“Medications are an important part of our patients’ healthcare journey, but we need to make sure that once these medications are no longer needed, they are disposed of properly to ensure the safety of others and of our environment. Drug Take Back Day serves as a good reminder of the responsibility we all share in doing so,” said Sheri Haines, Manager of Mercy Health REACH Services, an outpatient alcohol, drug, and tobacco treatment program.
Items left in the receptacles are kept secure and confidential. Note that while some prefer to remove the label, it is not required. Additionally, experts caution unwanted or expired medications should never be flushed as it is harmful to the environment. Medication take-back programs provide a disposal option that is safe and environmentally friendly.
Additional tips on what to consider when dropping off medications include:
· Accepted medications include vitamins, pills, and pet medications. We cannot accept needles, inhalers, liquids, lotions, aerosols, ointments, and creams.
· While many use this service for their own medications, it’s also helpful for families and caregivers who need a safe place to dispose of medications for loved ones.