Auburn, Neb (April 16, 2018) – Nemaha County Hospital is offering a new and needed community service option helping people dispose of expired and unused medications safely and conveniently – and keep them out of the wrong hands.
Installed last week, the MedSafe receptacle service features a secure, shiny blue container (see attached picture) at the hospital’s ER entrance.
Secured with two locks, the containers can be used for most old and unneeded medications. People can even leave those medications in the original packaging with the personal information still intact.
“It’s one of the newer services we’re excited about offering our community,” said Marty Fattig, CEO. “Until now there hasn’t been a great option for disposing of unused medications.”
The MedSafe program offers several benefits. Proper disposal prevents pharmaceuticals from circulating into community water supplies. Flushing used medications or throwing them away poses several safety and environmental risks, Fattig noted.
The new service also helps a vital public health issue. Unused medicines that remain in home medicine cabinets are susceptible to misuse. Studies also show a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends. MedSafe disposal helps to reduce the chance of unintended and illegal use of drugs by providing a safe and convenient disposal option.
The Nebraska prescription drug overdose prevention efforts are supported by the State Targeted Response (STR) Opioid Crisis Grant, it has multiple funding sources including Bureau of Justice Assistance Grant, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Grant, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) HITECH funding, designated State appropriations, and Nebraska Health Information Initiative (NeHII). They have been distributed across southeast Nebraska, including Otoe, Nemaha, Johnson, Richardson, and Pawnee counties.
The MedSafe container is available during regular hospital hours. It can be used for any medication – over-the-counter and prescription drugs, including prescribed narcotics. However, any liquid of four (4) ounces or more should be placed in a plastic baggie. And for safety reasons, the system won’t accept sharps (such as needles), batteries or aerosol containers (such as inhalers.)
About Nemaha County Hospital
Located in Auburn, Nebr., Nemaha County Hospital is a county-owned critical access hospital serving the Southeast Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri regional area.