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366th Medical Group offers new drug disposal program

MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho -- To help combat the nation-wide rise in over-the-counter medication abuse, the 366th Medical Group has installed a MedSafe collection unit.

The MedSafe device can be used to collect unneeded or old medications in accordance with the Drug Enforcement Administration's Final Rule for the Disposal of Controlled Substances in 2014.

Prior to the Final Rule, there were no legal provisions governing the disposal of controlled substances; and hospitals, pharmacies and doctors were banned from accepting them.

The MedSafe is simple to use and conveniently located next to the Mountain Home AFB pharmacy. Patients can deposit all unused or expired medications, including creams and liquids, as well as unused insulin and Epi-pens.  Pills should be deposited without their containers.  Liquid bottles must be 4 ounces or less and in a sealed plastic bag before depositing them.

"Proper disposal may prevent accidental poisonings or accidental use of potentially harmful medications that may still be in the home," said Maj. Tara Stogdill, 366th Medical Group Pharmacy Flight.

The MedSafe unit is accessible Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and pharmacy personnel will be available to offer assistance.

"It's as simple as bringing the medications over and pouring them into our container," Stogdill said.

Editor's Note: The 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported twice as many Americans abused pharmaceutical controlled substances than heroin, cocaine, hallucinogens and inhalants combined.  Seventy percent of people who abused prescription drugs for the first time said they obtained the medication from friends and family.