UNION — Residents of Union County now have another option for disposing of unwanted, unused and expired presciption medication and they can use it to dispose of it in their own homes.
Nikki Pyles, Executive Director of Healthy U Behavioral Health, announced Wednesday that her office has acquired the “Deterra Drug Deactivation System” as part of its efforts to promote the safe disposal of unwanted, unused and expired prescrption drugs.
“The state gave us some ECHO funds which stands for Empowering Communities for Healthy Outcomes,” Pyles said. “The whole purpose of this is to encourage the use of the drop boxes in our community.”
Pyles pointed out that the Union County Sheriff’s Office and the City of Union Public Safety Department both have drop boxes where people can drop off unwanted, unused and expired prescription medication for disposal no questions asked. The Sheriff’s Office drop box is located at 200 West Main Street, Union, and is available to the public for drop off Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. The Public Safety Department’s drop box is located at 215 Thompson Boulevard, Union and is available to the public for drop off 24 hours a day Monday-Sunday.
Despite their availability at, respectively, the Sheriff’s Office and the Public Safety Department, Pyles said many people still don’t know where the drop boxes are. In addition, Pyles said that her office had been in contact which the Sheriff’s Office and the Public Safety Department about this and had also been discussing the possibilty of a third drop box, but had been having difficulty securing a location for it.
It was then that Pyles said her office learned about the Deterra Drug Deactivation System and decided to obtain them using the ECHO funds and make them available to the public.
“We heard about them and ordered some,” Pyles said. “This is to give people the opportunity to dispose of unwanted, unusued, and expired prescription drugs in their own home.”
Contained in a plastic, reseable pouch, the drug deactivation system is used to deactivate or render harmless prescription drugs in the following three steps:
1. Place unused medication in the pouch.
2. Fill halfway with warm tap water and wait 30 seconds.
3. Seal tightly and gently shake pouch and dispose of in normal trash.
The instructions on the pouch states that the process can deactivate 45 pills or 6 ounces of liquid or 6 patches.
Once the prescription medication has gone through the deactivation process, Pylse said it can no longer be consumed. In addition, Pylse said it no longer poses a threat to the environment and can be safely disposed with other household trash.
While making this service available free of charge to the public, Pyles said her office is still encouraging people to use the drop boxes at the Sheriff’s Office and the Public Safety Department if at all possible. She said they can also bring their prescrption medication to the Healthy U Behavioral Health office at 201 South Herdon Street, Union, and the staff will see to it that the items dropped off are properly disposed of. The office is open 8 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday and Friday by appointment.
Nevertheless, if a person wants to dispose of unwanted, unused and expired presciption medication at their home, Pyles said her office will get the Deterra Drug Deactivation System to them.
“If someone calls us and says they want to do this we’ll bring it to them if we need to,” Pyles said. “We would like to be there to see to it that it is used properly. We’re big on proper disposal.”
For more information about and/or to obtain the Deterra Drug Deactivation System contact Healthy U Behavioral Health at 864-429-1656.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090.