NHRMC invites public to drop off expired medications

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New Hanover Regional Medical Center is hosting a pill drop off event this week. File photo.
New Hanover Regional Medical Center is hosting a pill drop off event this week. File photo.

A free medication drop-off event is scheduled at New Hanover Regional Medical Center this Saturday.

New Hanover Regional Medical Center is scheduled to have a free medication disposal event from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Oct. 17, at the hospital’s Medical Mall, 2243 S. 17th St., beside the main campus, hospital spokeswoman Claire Parker said.

The public is invited to bring their unneeded and expired medications to be disposed of in a safe, convenient and environmentally sound manner, Parker said. Drive-thru service will be available during the event.

The event is held in partnership with area law enforcement agencies, Cape Fear Community College, Safe Kids NC, Cape Fear Clinic, Cape Fear Coalition for a Drug Free Tomorrow, and New Hanover Soil & Water Conservation District.

All medications brought to the event should be in their original containers to help identify the medication. The hospital asks that all personal information is removed.

The Wilmington Police Department and New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office will be on hand to accept controlled substances. Medications can be prescription, over-the-counter, vitamins or herbal. No needles or syringes will be accepted.

“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,” Parker said. “In addition, improper disposal of medications can have an adverse effect on the environment. 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.”

The misuse of prescription drugs has become a serious problem throughout the region and is now the second leading cause of death in Eastern North Carolina, Parker said.

“We are very pleased to host this event for the community,” Outreach Coordinator at NHRMC Iris Baker said. “Since we began holding these events, we have collected thousands of pieces of unneeded medications and kept them from becoming hazards to our community and our environment.”

For more information about the event contact Baker at 910.667.8297 or email her at iris.baker@nhrmc.org.