Properly disposing prescribed medication could be crucial

WYMT Mountain News Weekend Edition newscast at 6 p.m. on Sunday
Published: Apr. 23, 2023 at 2:44 PM EDT
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WYMT Weekend Edition News at 11 p.m.

CORBIN, Ky. (WYMT) - National Drug Take Back Day was Saturday, April 22, but doctors and pharmacists recommend keeping those practices all year long.

Data analytic service Inmar, a leader in drug take back initiatives, reports more than 1,000 people per day need medical attention after not using prescribed drugs properly.

That statistic is one of many reasons healthcare professionals continue to sound an alarm, and with the help of a green box, consumers can avoid that.

At Baptist Health Corbin, they have a green container designated solely for disposal of prescribed drugs that is provided by Inmar and available Monday-Friday.

“Having medications that you don’t need around your home, so, in cabinets, can really increase medication errors, grabbing something that you’re not supposed to be taking anymore,” Baptist Health Corbin pharmacist Jennifer Dutton said. “It can get into the hands of people it shouldn’t be, you know, taking medications they shouldn’t be taking.”

Simply throwing away medication in a trash can might not be the best solution either.

Inmar data shows 77% of opioid prescription medications taken by new users are obtained from a friend or relative.

“If you’re throwing it in the trash can, trying to flush down the toilet, things like that, that’s not always safe for the environment, and not always safe that people can still get to those medications if in the trash can, things like that,” Jennifer Dutton said.

The green container is only for legal drugs. Any illegal substances should be turned in to local law enforcement.