Pathways, Inc. Seeks to Educate Community on Safe Medication Disposal
October 20, 2017—National Prescription Drug Take-Back programs are held twice a year in October & April and are organized by local law enforcement agencies. This year National Take-Back Day is Saturday, October 28 from 10:00 am–2:00 pm. Pathways, Inc. was awarded The Patricia Murphy Young Memorial Fund for Community Nursing grant by Community Foundation of Elmira-Corning and the Finger Lakes, Inc. to support community nursing work. Providing educational information to the communities that Pathways, Inc. serves is among the Agency’s core values.
RN Coordinator for Pathways, Inc., Debra Hill is working with local partners to help educate the community on safely disposing of their unused medication. In an effort to prevent accidental drug ingestion, a brochure has been developed and will be distributed through the Agency’s programs. These brochures are available upon request.
Hill shared, “Almost all medications may be safely disposed of by using a take-back program. Authorized medication disposal sites are found at local hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, town halls, or law enforcement locations.”
Local National Prescription Take-Back Day Sites (October 28, 2017, from 10:00 am–2:00 pm):
Steuben County Sheriff’s Office will collect at:
Steuben County Public Safety Building
7007 Rumsey Street Extension
Bath, NY 14810
Chemung County Sheriff’s Office will collect at:
Southport Volunteer Fire Department
1001 Carl Street
Elmira, NY 14904
West Elmira Fire Department
1299 W. Water Street
Elmira, NY 14905
During those months that take-back programs are not available, Hill offers suggestions on safely disposing medication at home and locations that are available year-round.
Suggested Methods for Disposing at Home
1. Put medicine in a sealable bag with cat litter, coffee grounds, ashes, or dirt and warm water, then seal securely before placing in the trash.
2. Place needles in a puncture-proof container, such as a detergent bottle, and label with “SHARPS,” then seal securely with tape before putting in the trash OR drop needles off at the lab during routine blood work.
3. Destroy all personal information on the prescription bottle and throw away.
Authorized Local Drug Collection Sites (available year-round):
- Elmira City Hall, 317 E. Church Street, Elmira, NY
- Horseheads Village Offices, 202 S. Main Street, Horseheads, NY
- West Elmira Town Hall, 1255 W. Water Street, Elmira, NY
- Steuben County Sheriff’s Office, 7007 Rumsey Street Ext., Bath, NY
- Steuben County Office Building, 3 E. Pulteney Square, Bath, NY
“Store medications safely by keeping medications out of sight and reach of children and pets. Leave your medication in the original container with the cap securely on until you’re ready to take it. Call Poison Control immediately if someone swallows too much medication or takes the wrong medication. Keep in mind that every 8 minutes, a young child goes to the Emergency Room for medicine poisoning and nearly 50% of all calls received by Pet Poison Control involve human medications (over-the-counter and prescription),” stated Hill.
Poison Control: 1-800-222-1222
ASPCA Animal Poison Control: 1-888-426-4435
Debra Hill provides clinical oversight of the residential RNs as well as performs RN duties for a Pathways, Inc. intensive care facility for individuals with severe developmental and intellectual disabilities. She develops, standardizes, and revises nursing policy and procedures, and obtains clarification and information regarding health/nursing issues from the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) Director of Nursing or other resources as needed to ensure all regulations and guidelines are followed at the Agency’s residences.
For more information on Safe Medication Disposal or to obtain brochures for your organization, please contact (607) 937-3200.