(Update: Adding video, comments from St. Charles representative, total collected)
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – St. Charles Health System held a medication take-back event on Saturday at the Bend Police Department headquarters on Northeast 15th Street.
The medication take-back event is one of many such take-back events across the country, on a day organized by the U.S. Drug enforcement Administration.
The take-back events happen every April and October. This year, the Bend event collected a total of seven full boxes of medication from 102 cars.
“Safe medication disposal is very important for a multitude of reasons,” St. Charles Health System Pharmacy Inventory Analyst Debra Pedersen said. “It not only protects our environment, but it protects people that might be looking through medicine cabinets trying to get their hands on things. It just keeps everyone safe. It keeps medication out of hands from teenagers and prevents abuse.”
The take-back event is intended to help households dispose of medications that could be ingested by someone other than the person for whom they were prescribed and to prevent medications from ending up in the water table. The medications received at the drop-off events go to a facility that can safely dispose of it by incineration, with several layers of HEPA filters.
In 2021, St. Charles collected 427 pounds of medication from more than 300 community members. The health system said it was pleased to be able to provide this opportunity, as other community drops sites have not been accessible due to COVID-19 safety measures.
Individuals can drive through the parking lot and drop off medications right from their car window. Bend police officers accept the medications, then give them to the Drug Enforcement Administration to dispose of safely.
Any non-oncology medications were accepted. Liquids, pills, powders, patches, creams, prescriptions or over-the-counter medicines caould be dropped off. Representatives from St. Charles pharmacy were on-site to answer questions.
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