Safe disposal of medications helps prevents drug abuse
Doylestown Health recently added a medication disposal box in the Doylestown Hospital Emergency Department lobby. The medication disposal box is available for use by the community to safely discard unused or expired medications.
"Our goal is to prevent the abuse of prescription drugs and to decrease the potential negative impact of all medications on the environment," said Scott Levy, MD, Vice President and Chief Medical Officer. "This project is an essential part of our mission to prevent illness and promote wellness."
Doylestown Health is partnering with the Bucks County Medication Disposal Program, which is supported by the Bucks County Commissioners and a grant through the Bucks County Drug and Alcohol Commission, Inc.
Prescription and over-the-counter drugs are the most commonly misused substances by Americans age 14 and older, after marijuana and alcohol, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Two-thirds of prescription opioids that are being misused were obtained from a family member or friend, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
To prevent medications from being stolen or abused, they should be kept in a locked medicine cabinet or lock box. Medications that are no longer needed or expired should be disposed of safely and properly.
Doylestown Hospital's medication disposal box is the first in a Bucks County hospital; most boxes are located in police departments.
"Because of the prescription drug epidemic around the country and in our area, we need safe places for people to return their unused medications, thus lowering the risk for misuse," said Doylestown Hospital's Director of Pharmacy Christine Roussel, PharmD, BCOP.
Doylestown Hospital in the past served as a host location for National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day events held twice each year. The addition of a permanent medication disposal box will make it convenient for community members to dispose of their medications anonymously and safely. The disposal box is securely locked and under 24/7 surveillance.
Products accepted include prescription and over-the-counter solid medications, i.e. tablets and capsules; patches; liquid medications; inhalers; creams and ointments; nasal sprays; vitamins, and pet medications.
Products not accepted include injectables and needles, illicit substances such as marijuana or methamphetamine, thermometers, and aerosol cans.
"The fewer harmful medications in our community, the better," said Dr. Roussel. "This medication disposal box at Doylestown Hospital will help us move toward a safer, healthier community."
The medication disposal box was made possible with assistance from Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub; Diane W. Rosati, executive director of the Bucks County Drug & Alcohol Commission, Inc., and the Doylestown Township Police.
About Doylestown Health
Doylestown Health is a comprehensive healthcare system of inpatient, outpatient and wellness education services connected to meet the health needs of all members of the local and regional community. Doylestown Hospital, the flagship to Doylestown Health has 271 beds and a Medical Staff of more than 435 physicians in over 50 specialties. An independent nonprofit health system, Doylestown Health is dedicated to providing innovative, patient-centered care for all ages.