Blessing Health installs public medication disposal containers in Quincy, Pittsfield

medicine disposal container

Medication disposal containers are now located at Blessing Hospital in Quincy and Illini Hospital in Pittsfield. | Photo courtesy of Blessing Health

QUINCY — Residents of the Quincy and Pittsfield areas now have more options in which to safely and properly dispose of unneeded prescription and over-the-counter medications.

Blessing Health is participating with the State of Illinois in its Drug Take-Back Product Stewardship Program by installing two secure medication disposal containers for use by the public. The marked, blue metal containers are in the lobbies of Blessing Hospital in Quincy and Illini Community Hospital in Pittsfield. There is no cost to use the containers.

What is accepted, how to use the containers and where they are located

Except for those listed below, accepted items in the new medication disposal containers at Blessing and Illini Hospitals are medications in any dosage form in their original container or sealed bag. Cross out or remove personal identifying information from the medicine packaging, leave the product in its original container or place solid medicine in a sealed plastic bag and put into the collection container.

Items not accepted include:

  • Any controlled substances not lawfully possessed by the user
  • illegal drugs
  • sharps (includes needles and/or syringes, broken glass)
  • mercury-containing thermometers
  • herbal remedies
  • vitamins
  • supplements
  • cosmetics and other personal care items
  • medical equipment
  • batteries
  • pet pesticide products

The Blessing Hospital medication disposal container is located inside the main entrance to the hospital at 11th and Spring Streets. It is available through the main entrance from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays and 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekends. Those needing to use the container should present to the Information Desk and will be directed to its nearby location. Outside of the hours listed, access to the container is available through the Emergency Center entrance and signing in with the security officer on duty.

The Illini Hospital container is in the hospital’s main lobby and accessible through the main entrance Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. After-hours access is available through the emergency room entrance.

Why use the containers?

Using approved public medication disposal containers delivers the following benefits:

  • Avoids health problems from accidentally taking the wrong medicine or a medicine that is too old to work well
  • deters misuse by children and adults
  • reduces the risk of poisoning of children and pets, and
  • keeps medicines from entering streams and rivers when poured down the drain or flushed down the toilet.

In a press release, Robert Ritchey, administrative director, pharmacy and supply chain at Blessing Health, said, “Blessing Health is excited to offer this opportunity to residents of the communities we serve to reduce the potential for harmful chemicals ending up in our valuable waterways and drinking water and better protect themselves and their loved ones from the harm of medication misuse.”

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