People in Haines who have leftover prescription medications they want to get rid of in a safe way now have an easy option.
The local clinic recently installed a medication drop-off box in its waiting room. It’s part of a new effort the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium has taken on.
“We are looking at a large blue metal box that is bolted to the floor and to the wall,” said Haines SEARHC Clinic Administrator Pat Hefley. “And that box is for used medications and those kind of items. So that people can from their home dispose of their medications in a safe environment.”
The blue structure looks similar to a post office box. You drop medications into a one-way slot.
Hefley says sometimes when people have unused prescriptions sitting around, they throw them in the trash or flush them down the toilet, which is bad for the environment.
“In some communities around the country, there’s actual traceable quantities of these medications floating around in our water systems. And people drink that water.”
There are other reasons it’s good to get unused prescriptions out of people’s homes. Hefley says it keeps possibly harmful substances out of the hands of children and potential drug abusers.
“Those are the three main goals: to keep it out of the environment, it is removed the community, and to keep accidents from happening like poisonings, as well as just not having the medications diverted to other uses.”
The medication drop-off box is available during regular clinic hours.