National Prescription Drug Take Back Day; UH Collection Effort Oct 23

(Cleveland, OH) - As part of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, UH will host its own collection effort on October 23. This event gives the public an easy way to rid their homes of potentially dangerous, expired, unused and unwanted prescription and over-the-counter drugs.

Substance misuse and unintentional overdose deaths continue to be serious problems in the United States. According to the Ohio Hospital Association, there were more than 3,500 opioid-related overdose hospital encounters in the first quarter of 2021. The 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health showed a majority of misused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from a home medicine cabinet.

University Hospitals (UH) has taken many proactive steps to help mitigate the opioid epidemic, substance misuse and overdose deaths in our community, including the promotion of proper disposal of all opioid and non-opioid prescription medications as well as over-the-counter medications. The best way to dispose of unused or expired medications is to take them to an official disposal location.

Click here for details about where and when you can visit a UH location for Drug Take Back Day.

Acceptable Items:

  • Prescription medications (controlled and non-controlled)
  • Over-the-counter medications
  • Liquid medication in bottles (less than 4 ounces) – packaged in a Ziploc bag

Items Not Accepted:

  • Illegal drugs
  • Needles, syringes or sharps containers
  • Medical devices and batteries
  • Aerosol cans and inhalers
  • Mercury-containing devices
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Liquid antineoplastic (chemo) agents

“This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue,” explained Champ Burgess, Chief Pharmacy Officer at University Hospitals. “Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. In addition, Americans are now advised that common methods for disposing of unused medicines – flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash – pose potential safety and health hazards.”

Outside of this one-day event, the public can also dispose of medications using the permanent MedSafe locked disposal containers at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital and the UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Ahuja Center for Women & Children.

“UH has worked hard to mitigate the opioid epidemic and substance misuse in our community,” explained Jeanne Lackamp, MD, Director of the UH Pain Management Institute. “Participating in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is just one more way we are demonstrating our commitment to the health and well-being of the community and working to reduce the number of unintentional opioid-related overdose deaths.” 

For information about addiction treatment services at University Hospitals, please visit this website.

(Copyright,iHeartMedia, 2021)

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