Bucks County hospital sets up drop-off box to safely dispose of old medications

Lynne Adkins
December 25, 2018 - 4:00 am
Doylestown Health recently added a medication disposal box in the Doylestown Hospital Emergency Department lobby.

Doylestown Health

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DOYLESTOWN, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — Your medicine cabinet is stocked with old pills and outdated liquid medications, and now is the time to clear it all out. 

Old or unused medications can be dangerous when they get in the wrong hands, or simply get tossed out, according to Dr. Christine Roussel, director of pharmacy at Doylestown Health.

Now, there's an easier way to get rid of old medications in Bucks County.

A medication drop-off box has been placed in the Doylestown Hospital Emergency Department lobby.

"Drugs oftentimes get thrown out in the trash or they get put down the toilet, and they go and contaminate the waterway, so it is really important to make sure that when unused prescription drugs need to be disposed of, they're done in a safe way," Roussel explained. "So when they're returned to a drug collection box, they are actually incinerated."

Prescription and over-the-counter drugs are the most commonly abused substances by people 14 and older, after marijuana and alcohol, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Furthermore, two-thirds of misused prescription opioids were obtained by a family member or friend, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

The drop-off box is similar to an old-fashioned mailbox: You pull open the door and drop in the pills or liquids. 

"Once you put things in, you can't get them out," she added.

Needles and illegal drugs are not accepted.