LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - Comanche County Memorial Hospital now has a place where people can drop off medicine, whether it was some they just didn't need, or it's expired, and they can no longer use it. The hospital has made dropping off old medication as easy as can be.
"Any time of the day or night, it does not matter,” Pharmacist Tara DeLonais said. “You're not going to be asked anything when you walk in the door or when you go to the box, you're just going to put it in there, and it's secure."
DeLonais said they have this box because unused and expired medicine is a safety issue. The 2018 national survey on drug use and health showed that 9.9 million Americans had misused prescription drugs.
"We have to do that properly,” DeLonais said. “Of course, if you do it improperly, people can get it out of your trash, or it can go into the rivers and streams and hurt our environment." Not only can it be bad for the environment if you do not properly get rid of it, but it can also be dangerous to kids.
“They go in there when you’re not looking because they think it’s going to be fun or it’s candy,” DeLonais said. “And they’re just trying to be like you, and they’re going to go in there, and they’re going to take that medication whether whatever type of prescription it is, and then you could have an accidental poisoning on your hands which can lead to very drastic outcomes.”
DeLonais said people who abuse drugs also go through cabinets when they’re at a friend or family member’s house looking to see if there’s something in there. So, it’s best for everybody to get rid of medicine that’s no longer needed. She said you can put most medicines in the box, but there are a few you can’t get rid of in there.
"You can put in over the counter medications, prescription medications, pet medications, medicated ointment and creams, even medication samples,” DeLonais said. “You wouldn't want to put in sharps or needles of any sort of hazardous medications, those types of things would not be disposed of here." In the two months that they've had the box, she said they've already had to empty it after filling it about 3/4 full.
If you have some medicine that you’d like to drop it off, there’s a drop box at the CCMH ER, which is 24/7, along with one at the Lawton Indian hospital and Walgreens on Sheridan road.