Saturday marks the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) 14th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, a date when Americans are encouraged to bring their unused prescription drugs to a designated drop off location (such as police departments and hospitals) for safe disposal. At Catholic Medical Center (CMC), every day is a drug take back day. The hospital recently installed a permanent drug take back box in its main lobby, where anyone can safely and anonymously dispose of unused prescriptions at any time.
“People are responding to this service,” says CMC Pharmacy Director Barbara Case. “Since installing the box in August, we’ve recovered 100 gallons of unused prescriptions of all kinds. These are drugs that are no longer in people’s medicine cabinets, drugs that can no longer pose a risk of addiction.”
The take back box was installed as part of CMC’s participation in the Granite Health Zero Left initiative, which also includes distributing opioid destruction pouches to surgery patients as well as provider and public education around the potential dangers of misusing prescription drugs.
CMC is also taking part in the wider Red Ribbon Week, set aside for drug prevention awareness. At the request of BeBold-Bedford (building our lives drug-free), CMC is turning the lights on its skybridge red from October 27-31. The color serves as a reminder of this year’s Red Ribbon Week to everyone who passes by CMC, “Your Future is Key, so Stay Drug-free.”
“We are fortunate that so many community partners are dedicated to ending the opioid crisis,” says CMC President & CEO Dr. Joseph Pepe, “and CMC is pleased to do what we can to raise awareness, increase prevention, and provide care and support to the families affected by addiction.”