Elizabethtown, N.Y. (July 20, 2018) – A Community Medication Collection Bin, now located in University of Vermont Health Network – Elizabethtown Community Hospital’s main campus lobby offers the opportunity to conveniently dispose of unused prescription medications. The main lobby is located adjacent to the Emergency Department (ER) and is open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Making available a collection bin for unused prescriptions is part of Elizabethtown Community Hospital’s commitment to addressing the opioid crisis in the community and protecting the environment. Studies show that many abusers of prescriptions drugs often get them from unused supplies left at their home or a friend or relatives home.
Elizabethtown Community Hospital Pharmacy Manager Grant Martin, PharmD, added, “Removing unused controlled medications, especially opioids, from our communities, is one more thing we can do to help fight the opioid crisis in our community.”
With the addition of Elizabethtown Community Hospital Community Medication Collection Bin, there are now five depositories in Essex County. The others are located at the Ticonderoga Police Department, the New York State Police Troop B headquarters in Ray Brook, Moriah Pharmacy, Keeseville Pharmacy and at Elizabethtown Community Hospital. Other retail pharmacies have also conducted regular take back events.
The Elizabethtown Community Hospital Community Medication Collection Bin also helps the environment, according to Martin. “It’s not recommended that they be flushed and they don’t belong in the landfill. “Having another receptacle in our community helps protect our drinking water. Up until now, people have had relatively few options to dispose of their prescriptions,” he said.
With start-up funding provided by New York State Department of Conservation, the Medication Collection Bin is maintained by the hospital’s Pharmacy Department. The receptacle is specially designed to prevent access to the medications after they have been deposited. The 38 gallon receptacle holds a specially designed liner which when full will be removed from the bin and securely transported to a facility for destruction.
Earlier this month, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law a measure that will require drug manufacturers to create, implement and fund a statewide drug take back program for unwanted household drugs. The law will go into effect in 2019.