Operation Medicine Cabinet: Get Rid of Old Medicines

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Home Instead Senior Care of Salisbury/Rowan County, the Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy of Salisbury, Rufty-Holmes Senior Center, and the Salisbury Police Department have joined together to host Home Instead Senior Care’s Operation Medicine Cabinet. The purpose of this bi-annual event is to encourage the community to dispose of expired or no longer used medications in a safe manner.
Operation Medicine Cabinet will be held on Saturday, April 30 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy, 1357 W. Innes Street, Salisbury. The first 150 participants will receive gift bags. All participants will enjoy refreshments, and will also be entered to win a $25 gift certificate to the Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy.
Anyone in the community may “drive through and drop off” both prescription and over-the-counter medications. All pills, patches, creams, ointments, liquids, and injectables will be accepted, as will needles and other sharps. The Salisbury Police Department will be on hand to oversee the safe and secure collection of medications. After the event, the medications collected will be weighed and then properly destroyed by the police department.
Home Instead Senior Care began this program to protect seniors from accidentally using expired medications or medications that are no longer prescribed for them.  The average senior takes four to six different prescriptions a day and refills their prescriptions 12 to 17 times a year, according to the health-care company Arcadia Healthcare. Furthermore, 28 percent of geriatric hospitalizations are attributed to adverse medication reactions, the group said.
Operation Medicine Cabinet also benefits our youth. Each year in the United States, more than 71,000 children aged 18 and younger are seen in emergency rooms for unintentional overdoses of prescription and over-the-counter drugs. In addition, every day, approximately 2,500 teens abuse a prescription painkiller for the first time.
The event also protects our environment by providing a safe way to dispose of medications so that they are not introduced into landfills or the water supply. Contamination of the water supply has become a serious concern for both people and animals.
“It just makes sense for us to offer this service to our neighbors,” says Medicine Shoppe pharmacist Teresa Casmus. “Every prescription that is disposed of through this event will be one less prescription endangering our community. We hope the whole town will consider the serious nature of this issue and rally around our collection to do something about it.”
For more information about Operation Medicine Cabinet, contact Home Instead Senior Care at 704-636-2010.