In the last 13 months, more than 370 pounds of unused medications have been collected in the Community Medication Collection Bin at University of Vermont Health Network – Alice Hyde Medical Center.
Alice Hyde’s Director of Pharmacy, Michael Dufort, hopes that number grows after the National Drug Take Back event planned for Saturday, Oct. 26.
“Clearing out your medicine cabinets of unused or expired medications is an important step everyone can take to protect their home, protect our environment, and protect the people they love from being exposed to prescription drugs that aren’t theirs,” said Dufort. Studies show that many people who abuse prescription drugs often acquire them from unused prescriptions left at their home or the home of a friend or relative.
Alice Hyde is taking part in the national event sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Administration as part of its ongoing commitment to addressing the opioid crisis in our community and protecting the environment. The collection bin is located inside the hospital’s Main Entrance and across from the Park Street Café on the Main Floor. It accepts all prescription and over-the-counter solid and liquid medications and is available for use every day, at any time.
Properly disposing of unwanted medications also helps the environment, Dufort said.
“These medications don’t belong in our water supply, and they don’t belong in a landfill,” he said. “When you use the collection bin to dispose of your unwanted medications, you’re helping to protect our community’s drinking water. The bins are such a valuable resource for people, because before now there weren’t many options to properly dispose of solid and liquid medications.”
Dufort reminded the community that the collection bin, which is specially designed to prevent access to medications once they have been dropped off, is not meant to hold syringes, needles or other “sharps” used to administer medication.
“Alice Hyde’s collection bin is emptied by staff members, and when needles, syringes or other sharps end up inside, their risk of injury increases,” Dufort said. “We’re asking everyone in our community to help keep our employees safe, and to properly dispose of those items rather than putting them in the collection bin.”
For those in need of help disposing of needles and syringes, Alice Hyde offers collection services from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday – Friday, at our Supply Chain Department on the hospital’s first floor. All sharps should be placed in a clean, rigid, leak-proof and puncture-resistant container, such as an empty laundry detergent container, and labeled with the words “bio-hazard.” For more information please call (518) 481-2213.