Public invited to free medication disposal event

October 10, 2013

Protect yourself, your loved ones and the environment from risks of unwanted medications.

WILMINGTON – New Hanover Regional Medical Center, in partnership with law enforcement agencies, Cape Fear Community College, Safe Kids NC and Cape Fear Coalition for a Drug Free Tomorrow, is holding a Medication Disposal Event on Saturday, October 29 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the New Hanover Regional Medical Center Medical Mall, 2243 S. 17th St., located beside the main hospital campus. The public is invited to bring their unneeded and expired medications to be disposed of in a safe, convenient and environmentally sound manner.

All medications brought to the event should be in their original containers to help identify the medication. Local law enforcement agencies from New Hanover County as well as the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration will be on hand to accept controlled substances. Medications can be prescription, over-the-counter, vitamins or herbal.

Having unnecessary medications in the home can be a hazard. Old medications could be confused with current medications; children could be poisoned by them; and pets could be harmed if they ingest medications dropped and not picked up. Proper disposal of unused medications also prevents them from falling into the wrong hands and being distributed illegally or being used by someone who is abusing prescription medication.

In addition, improper disposal of old medications can have an adverse affect on the environment. Pills flushed down the sink or toilets go directly into the public water system. Throwing unwanted medications in the trash allows them to break down over time and leach into the groundwater.

“We have had such a wonderful response to this event in the past,” says Kathy Rawlings, RN case manager and nurse educator for the Outpatient Pharmacy at NHRMC. “People really want to do the right thing by disposing of this medication properly and now they have an easy and convenient way to do that.”

New Hanover Regional Medical Center is the leading provider of quality and accessible health care in Southeastern North Carolina, delivering care to all in need, without the support of taxpayer dollars. The medical center takes seriously its responsibility as an economic engine for the community, creating more than 4,500 jobs directly and another 3,000 jobs indirectly.