Colleton Medical Center partnered with local law enforcement agencies to host a Crush the Crisis opioid take-back event in conjunction with the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday Oct. 24.
The event was held as a drive-through event in the front parking lot of Colleton Medical Center from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Law enforcement personnel and hospital employees were on hand to receive the old medications to prepare for disposal. Colleton Medical Center staff even had small gifts for those dropping off drugs.
The event collected 77.4 pounds of medication.
“Medications left unattended in households pose a risk of substance abuse or even overdose. Events like these help our community by eliminating the issue at the source,” said Michelle O’Quinn, PharmD, director of pharmacy services at Colleton Medical Center.
“We appreciate all the participation from the community in the Crush the Crisis event. We are committed to our continued efforts against the opioid crisis. The Walterboro Police Department medication disposal box is available to the public during office hours,” said Officer Jesse Moon.
The nationwide event 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.
Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.
“The initiative — now in its 10th year — addresses a vital public safety and public health issue,” said DEA acting administrator Timothy Shea. “Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Together with our partners, National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day offers other ways to dispose of unwanted, unused, and expired prescription medications.”
South Carolinians participating in last year’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day turned in 11,124 pounds of unwanted or expired medications for safe and proper disposal at sites set up throughout the state. Given the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency, DEA wants to ensure that the public is aware of other ways they can dispose of unwanted prescription drugs without having to leave their homes. Both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency have tips on how to safely dispose of drugs at home.
In addition to DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, prescription drugs can be disposed of at local law enforcement agencies. People can dispose of tablets, capsules, patches, and other solid forms.