Drug drop box

September 25th, 2017

Sept. 22, 2017 — JPS now has a medication take-back kiosk, increasing access to safe disposal of prescription and over-the-counter drugs. The drop box was installed Friday in the Outpatient Pharmacy at John Peter Smith Hospital, which is open 24 hours a day.

MedReturn Bin

“Anybody can come,” said Pharmacy Director Nicole Shoquist. “This is for everybody — patients, team members, the community.”

The kiosk was provided by Challenge Tarrant County with opioid painkillers in mind. Working with a coalition of community organizations including JPS, Challenge is working to increase drop-box options, taking pills out of circulation while protecting the environment.   

“Of course this is helpful,” said Dr. Don Teater, an adviser on federal prescription drug policy and guest lecturer at JPS. Leftover painkillers “don’t have any purpose at home,” where they pose risks of abuse and overdose, considered an epidemic in the United States.

Expanding safe drug disposal

Expanding safe drug disposal: (Back row) Mary Ann Contreras, JPS; Debbie Branch, City of Fort Worth; Amanda Robbins, Fort Worth Safe Communities; Dr. Don Teater, federal medical adviser; (front row) Hilda Zuniga, Fort Worth; Cynthia Velazquez, Challenge Tarrant County; Nicole Shoquist, JPS.

The Pharmacy at JPS is monitored 24 hours a day by officers of the Tarrant County Hospital Police Department, satisfying one of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s many requirements for drop-box locations.

The kiosk will be emptied by the Pharmacy manager, with the contents incinerated by the company JPS already uses to dispose of drugs that have expired or been recalled, Shoquist said.

The box can accept prescription and over-the-counter pills and tablets, as well pharmaceuticals such as pain patches, pet medications, vitamins and supplements.

The box is NOT for needles, inhalers, aerosol cans, ointments, lotions or liquids.

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