BMH Announces DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

The event will take place from 10 am until 2 pm on Saturday, October 27th

Bingham Memorial Hospital (BMH) is pleased to participate in the Drug Enforcement Agency’s (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day which will take place Saturday, October 27th from 10 am until 2 pm. Eastern Idahoans will be able to return their unwanted, unneeded, or expired prescription drugs for safe disposal at the following locations:

  • Bingham Memorial Hospital (Emergency Room): 98 Poplar St., Blackfoot. (208) 785-3813
  • Bingham County Sheriff’s Office: 501 N Maple St., # 405, Blackfoot. (208) 785-4440

“This has been made possible because the Idaho Office of Drug Policy awarded Bingham Memorial Hospital a grant to purchase a drug disposal bin,” says Amy Wuest, PhD, manager of grants and continuing medical education. “The box is currently located in Bingham Memorial’s Emergency Department.”

Anyone can drop off prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, and pet medications, no questions asked. (Please note that the following items cannot be disposed in drop boxes: schedule I controlled substances, illegal drugs, thermometers, inhalers, sharps, and hydrogen peroxide.)

In April 2018, the DEA collected and destroyed close to one million pounds—nearly 475 tons—of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs, making it the most successful drug take-back in DEA history. This brings the total amount of prescription drugs collected by DEA since the fall of 2010 to 9,964,714 pounds, or 4,982 tons.

“As you may already know, we’re facing the worst drug crisis in American history,” says Dr. Daniel P.W. Smith, interventional pain management specialist at BMH. “One American is currently dying of a drug overdose every nine minutes, which is why events like this are so important. It gives people the opportunity to dispose of unwanted and potentially addictive drugs. We want to ensure everyone has a safe and secure way for people to dispose of unused medications to keep drugs out of the wrong hands and to combat the spread of addiction.”

The National Prescription Drug Take-Back addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Many Americans are not aware that medicines that stay in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. The rate of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. is alarming, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that many abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, many Americans do not know how to properly dispose of their unused medicine, often flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away, which, in many cases, can pose safety and health hazards.

“This is a day for every American, in every community across the country, to come together and do his or her part to fight the opioid crisis, simply by disposing of unwanted prescription medications from their medicine cabinets,” says Jake Erickson, CEO at BMH. “Prescription drug abuse is a huge problem and this is a great opportunity for residents of Bingham County to help reduce the threat. Please clean out your medicine cabinet and make your home safe from drug theft and abuse.”

“There is also another convenient way to dispose of unwanted medications,” says Wuest. “I am pleased to announce that the AmerisourceBergen Foundation granted the Bingham Health Care Foundation 3,000 units of DisposeRx, which can be used with pills, tablets, powders, patches, or liquids.”

DisposeRx packets are the gold standard of in home, drug disposal technology and contain a blend of solidifying materials that provide a convenient solution for the disposal of unwanted, unused, or expired medications. When the DisposeRx powder is activated in water and then shaken, the drugs are then chemically and physically sequestered in a biodegradable, viscous gel where they are rendered unavailable and unusable for all practical purposes.

DisposeRx packets are available free (while supplies last) at the following locations during normal business hours:

  • Plaza Pharmacy in Bingham Memorial’s Medical Office Building, 98 Poplar St., Blackfoot (across the street from the main hospital). (208) 782-2990
  • Bingham County Sheriff’s Office: 501 N. Maple St., # 405, Blackfoot. (208) 785-4440
  • Building 70 on Navajo Drive (old IHS clinic), southwest of the Justice Center, Fort Hall. (208) 478-3989
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