Prescription Drop Boxes a Success on State Level

Drop boxes from a pharmacy chain collected 6400 pounds of unused and expired medications.

Intermountain Healthcare, a Utah-based nonprofit organization of hospitals, clinics, and a Medical Group, recently announced the success of a prescription drug drop box program.

“Use Only As Directed” was created by Intermountain, along with other companies, as well as the state of Utah, to combat prescription drug misuse and related overdoses and deaths. The campaign provides information about the proper use, storage, and disposal of prescription drugs especially opioids.

It includes a media campaign, presence on social media sites, outreach events, and public relation events, according to their website. As part of the campaign, pharmacy drop boxes were placed in Intermountain community pharmacies beginning in February 2015.

Unused or expired medications can be placed in the bins, and then get destroyed in a safe manner, according to a press release from Intermountain. As of May, the drop boxes have collected 6400 pounds of medication.

In addition to the drop boxes, all medications from the pharmacy include labels that instruct patients about finishing the medications, keeping it away from others, and safe disposal. Intermountain pharmacists also wear pins that display text that reminds customers not to share their medications.

Many other states and pharmacies have also participated in drug take back days and drop boxes in hopes of reducing misuse of prescription drugs.