NHRMC collecting medications for safe disposal this Saturday

PortCityDaily.com is your source for free news and information in the Wilmington area.

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

New Hanover Regional Medical Center is offering a free pill drop-off and drive-thru event this Saturday. The event is held twice a year and has helped to collect more than 7,000 pounds of unused and unwanted medications for safe disposal since 2009.

The disposal event will take place between 9 a.m. and noon on Saturday, April 2, at New Hanover Regional Medical Center’s Medical Mall located at 2243 S. 17th St., beside the main hospital campus, according to hospital spokeswoman Claire Parker.

The public is invited to bring their unneeded and expired medications to be disposed of in a safe, convenient and environmentally sound manner. Participants are asked to bring their medications in their original containers to help identify the medication with all personal information removed from the container. Medications can be prescription, over-the-counter, vitamins or herbal. Needles and syringes will not be accepted.

The event is held in partnership with local 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. The Wilmington Police Department and New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office will be on hand to accept controlled substances.

“Having unnecessary medications in the home can be a hazard,” Parker said. “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. 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, Parker said. The misuse of prescription drugs has become a “serious problem” throughout the region, she added.

“We are very pleased to host these events for the community,” Iris Baker, outreach coordinator at New Hanover Regional Medical Center, said. “We have held these events twice a year since 2009. We recycle the containers, and the medications are weighed and incinerated by the Sheriff’s Department. Since 2009, we have collected over 7,000 pounds of medications, thereby protecting our community and our environment.”

For more information, contact Iris Baker at 910-667-8297 or via email at iris.baker@nhrmc.org.