UH and Cleveland Clinic Join Forces to Host Drug Take Back Day
October 18, 2023
CLEVELAND – The opioid epidemic rages on in Northeast Ohio and across the nation. More than 100,000 deaths associated with opioids were reported in the U.S. last year, according to the American Medical Association. Many people who misuse prescription drugs get them from friends and family, often from a home medicine cabinet.
The best place to get rid of unused or expired medications is an official disposal location. As part of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on October 28, University Hospitals (UH) and Cleveland Clinic are partnering to host collection efforts at 29 locations throughout Northeast Ohio. This event gives the public an easy way to rid their homes of potentially dangerous, expired, unused and unwanted prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs.
“When unused medicines sit for a long time at home, they’re more likely to be abused,” said Michael Carlin, Senior Director of Pharmacy, Business Operations and Logistical Management at UH. “At this event, we’re not only giving people a place to safely rid their homes of these drugs but equipping them with tools to intervene if someone in their life does overdose.”
In addition to accepting old or unused medications, all UH drug take-back sites will host Project DAWN which provides free naloxone kits and fentanyl test strips. Making the medication naloxone widely available remains a key strategy in fighting the opioid epidemic. Naloxone rapidly reverses an opioid overdose and can quickly (albeit temporarily) restore a person’s normal breathing, which gives time for additional interventions. Naloxone saves lives and gives people a chance to overcome addiction.
“Disposing of unused and expired medications is an important way to prevent misuse or accidental exposure,” said Allison Riffle, Interim Chief Pharmacy Officer at Cleveland Clinic. “Our drug disposal kiosks are open year-round, but drug take-back days are important reminders for everyone to check their cabinets for extra medications. We are happy to work with University Hospitals to promote safe disposal methods in our communities.”
· Prescription medications
· Over-the-counter medications
· Liquid medication in bottles (less than 4 ounces) – package bottles in a Ziploc® bag
ITEMS NOT ACCEPTED:
· Illegal or “street” drugs
· Needles, syringes or sharps containers
· Medical devices and batteries
· Aerosol cans and inhalers
· Mercury-containing devices
· Liquid antineoplastic (chemo) agents
WHERE and WHEN:
· Click here for information about UH event locations and times
· Click here for information about Cleveland Clinic medication disposal locations and hours
In addition, as part of overall efforts to keep the community healthy, UH Ahuja, Geauga, Lake West, and TriPoint medical centers will offer no-cost glucose, cholesterol, and blood pressure screenings during this event.
“Partnering with Cleveland Clinic for Drug Take-Back Day is just one example of how the collaborative partnership formed by our two entities can move our region toward reducing drug overdose deaths and improving overall health,” said Carlin.
The public can also safely dispose of medications outside of this one-day event at many of the drug disposal locations which are open year-round. Click here to visit UH’s permanent prescription drug collection sites. Cleveland Clinic also has disposal sites across Northeast Ohio. Information about those locations and hours can be found here.