Mercy Health – St. Rita’s Medical Center is proud to once again participate in the annual Drug Take Back Initiative on Saturday, Oct. 29 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., which offers the community an opportunity to safely dispose of unused or expired medication. 

The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications. While it is a nationwide initiative, the day is made possible locally through the partnership of area police, municipal and health care organizations.

St. Rita’s Medical Center offers access to a medication drop box 24 hours a day, seven days a week in the medical center’s Emergency Department waiting room. Since installing the Med Safe Take Back bin in the spring of 2016, St. Rita’s has collected more than 6,300 pounds of medication. So far in 2022, more than 325 pounds of medication have been collected.

“Medications work tremendously in helping our patients continue to live their lives to the fullest. However, once these medications are no longer needed, it is important to dispose of them properly for the safety of others and our environment,” said Lisa Brady, director of pharmacy for Mercy Health – St. Rita’s Medical Center. “Drug Take Back Day is a great way to dispose of these medications that are no longer needed in a responsible way.”

“We are proud to collaborate with community partners who share our mission. They ensure that area residents are able to properly and lawfully dispose of medications,” added Gene Smith, chief of Mercy Health – Lima Protective Services. “Apart from Drug Take Back Day, St. Rita’s will continue to serve as a medication drop off location throughout the year.”

Items left in the receptacles are kept secure and confidential. Note that while some prefer to remove the label, it is not required. Additionally, experts caution that unwanted or expired medications should never be flushed as it is harmful to the environment. Medication take-back programs provide a disposal option that is safe and environmentally friendly.

Additional tips on what to consider when dropping off medications include:

  • Accepted medications include vitamins, pills and pet medications. We cannot accept needles, inhalers, liquids, lotions, aerosols, ointments and creams.
  • While many use this service for their own medications, it’s also helpful for families and caregivers who need a safe place to dispose of medications for loved ones.