Properly Dispose of Unused Rx Drugs

Posted on Tuesday, October 25, 2011

October 25, 2011
Contact: Michele Hutchins
(603) 238-6468

SMH Encourages Community to Dispose of Unused Rx Drugs
Plymouth Police Department official collection site on Saturday, October 29

PLYMOUTH, N.H. — Drug related poisonings cause nearly 700,000 emergency department visits a year and are the second leading cause of accidental death according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers (ACEP). That’s why Speare Memorial Hospital is encouraging the community to dispose of their unused and expired prescription and/or over-the-counter drugs at the Plymouth Police Department’s official collection site on Saturday, October 29.

“It is very important for our overall community and personal safety to dispose of these medications properly,” insists Speare’s Pharmacy Director Crystal Cascadden. “By taking these drugs to an official collection site, they can be disposed of in a controlled, irretrievable manner that also does not adversely affect the environment (i.e. flushing down the toilet).”

Based on data from the ACEP, infants to children five years of age have the highest rate of unintentional poisoning, and antidepressants and painkillers account for 43 percent of all drug related poisonings.

Plymouth Police Captain Steve Lefebvre noted the significant response to the prescription drug collection they did in the spring, that they decided to do it again. The community is also reminded that expired over-the-counter drugs can also be disposed of on October 29 at the Plymouth Police Department, located on Route 3 just north of McDonald’s.

To further prevent unintentional drug poisonings the ACEP recommends the following:

  • Keep all drugs out of the reach of young children and lock medicine cabinets.
  • Lock any cabinets that contain alcohol and are accessible only by a legal adult.
  • Follow directions on the label when taking any medication.
  • Never share or sell prescription drugs.
  • Avoid taking medicine in front of young children because they mimic adults.
  • Never call medicine candy or leave children alone with household products or drugs.
  • Do not let guests leave drugs where children can find them.

Speare Memorial Hospital is a 24-hour, acute care, non-profit community hospital and health care provider serving Plymouth and the communities of central New Hampshire for more than a century. Visit online at www.spearehospital.com and join us on Facebook.