Holyoke, MA – May 11, 2018 – The Holyoke Health Center recently installed a medication drop box in both our Holyoke and Chicopee pharmacies. On Friday, May 11th the Holyoke Health Center held a press conference in the pharmacy of our Holyoke location on 230 Maple St. to unveil the medication drop box to the public. We were joined by Hampden County District Attorney; Anthony Gulluni and Northwestern District Attorney; David Sullivan, and Mayor of Holyoke; Alex Morse, who spoke on behalf of the one of the area’s first and only community based medication drop box. The Holyoke Health Center has partnered with Inmar for their Consumer Drug Take Back Program, to provide the community with a discreet, no questions-asked, safe and responsible way to dispose of drugs.
Our medication drop box can be utilized by patients and non-patients to dispose of unwanted and unused prescription medications. Accepted medications include unused expired prescription medications (including Schedule II-VI controlled substances), unused or expired over-the-counter medications and pet medications. To use the medication drop box, simply drop the medication into the green receptacle labeled “Consumer Drug Take-Back”. Items that are not accepted include; inhalers, aerosol cans, syringes and illegal drugs. Since 2007, the Holyoke Health Center has been a MDPH Sharps Container Disposal Site, and we have two Chrysalis Environmental Solutions steel kiosks on site in our pharmacy for safe disposal of used needles.
According to the U.S Government Accountability Office (GAO), “In 2015, 3.8 million Americans reported misusing prescriptions in the prior month, and deaths from prescription opioids have quadrupled since 1999. Most people get these drugs from friends or relatives, so providing secure and convenient ways for people to dispose of their unused drugs could help.” The goal of our partnership with Inmar for their Consumer Drug Take-Back Program is reduce the risk of death and misuse of medications by providing our patients and community members with an accessible way to dispose of medication safely and discreetly and at their own convenience throughout the year. Holyoke Health Center is among the 1% of pharmacies and other entities in Massachusetts, who are eligible to collect unused prescriptions drugs for disposal and volunteer to do so, as stated in a recent report by the GAO.
Holyoke Health Center’s on-site, state of the art, community pharmacy fills approximately 5,500 prescriptions per week, and is an integral part of all services offered at the health center. Our pharmacy programs are aimed towards providing our patients and community with quality and comprehensive medication services to improve health and well-being. CEO, Jay Breines says “Providing our patients with a medication drop box that is free and safe to use is essential to improving the substance use disorder epidemic in our community and throughout the country, and is a step in the right direction to reduce the amount of opioids that are easily available.”
Pictured: Mayor of Holyoke - Alex More, Hampden County District Attorney - Anthony Gulluni, Holyoke Health Center CEO - Jay Breines, Hampden County DA's Communications Director- Jim Leydon, Hampshire/Franklin County District Attorney - David Sullivan
The mission of the Holyoke Health Center is to improve the health of our patients by providing quality health care and supporting comprehensive community based programs to create a healthy community. Visit www.hhcinc.org to learn more.
To learn more about Inmar’s Consumer Drug Take Back Program, visit www.inmar.com/inmar-solution/consumer-drug-take-back-program
To access the GAO report, Preventing Drug Abuse: Low Participation by Pharmacies and Other Entities as Voluntary Collectors of Unused Prescription Drugs, visit www.gao.gov/products/GAO-18-25