The 75th Medical Group will offer the opportunity to drop off unused or old prescription medication and sharps at the BX and Commissary on Sept. 29.
"One of the main concerns is to get old and expired prescriptions out of the cabinets, get them out of the houses so the potential for accidental misuse or abuse is removed," said Staff Sgt. Alexander Fox, 75 MDSS/SGSD.
"It's something we're happy to do for the community to give everyone the opportunity to turn in the medications they are no longer using," said Airman 1st Class Ryan George, 75 MDSS/SGSD.
Both pharmacists at the 75th Medical Clinic want to alert Team Hill of the dangers old medications can pose, when taken incorrectly or out-of-date. "When something has expired, the medication starts disintegrating," said Fox. The medication is no longer at the levels necessary for effectiveness.
As you check your medications for expired prescriptions, it's also a good idea to check the expiration date on some of your over-the-counter medications as well and remove these from your medicine cabinets.
The Hill Air Force Base drop-off points will include the proper containers for sharps. They were unable to fulfill that at the last medical take-back, but Fox said that preparations are being made to accommodate that need for this event.
The drug take-back events allow for the proper disposal of drugs without contaminating water systems or other dangers posed by flushing old medications down the sewer. Research has shown that such disposal shows up in fish and can be a pollutant.
An incident in which a family pet got a hold of a bottle of acetaminophen and had to be taken to the veterinarian, also points out to the pharmacist Airman the importance of keeping prescriptions and other medications out of reach and to not have them readily accessible.
"My sister's dog was OK, but it's just the kind of an experience that points out that you need to make sure all your meds are locked up and your pets or your animals can't get into them -- not just people," said George.
Cleaning out your cabinets to reduce clutter makes taking medications safer in the process, said Fox. He said he sees prescriptions brought in that are difficult to read on bottles for renewal at the counter. Getting rid of those old unused prescriptions and with worn labels makes it less likely that they will be used incorrectly.
Fox said this is important for more than just safety concerns. If someone has been prescribed a medication for say three months and they have some left over and decide to take it after the three month period - they are at risk in a drug testing environment. The prescription was only for that time period and will not be sufficient as an explanation if they test positive for the drug when it should no longer show up in a drug test.
It's just a good idea to clean out those old medications and take advantage of Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet Day.
"There are six Smith's pharmacies doing this at off-base locations," said Fox, on the same date and during the same time, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This adds extra convenience for those in an off-base location.
They include two Bountiful locations, 2390 S. Main St. and 966 S. 200 West; Farmington, 1316 N. Highway 89; Layton, 1170 E. Gentile St.; Sunset, 2353 N. Main St; and Syracuse, 951 W. 1700 South.
For more information on the proper way to dispose of leftover medications and drugs, if you are unable to make use of the drug take-back day, visit www.useonlyasdirected.org.