Safely and conveniently dispose of expired, unused and unwanted medications during a special take-back event at Tidelands Health hospitals this month.

Tidelands Health is partnering with the Georgetown Police Department and the Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office to host a medication take-back event Thursday, Oct. 24, at Tidelands Waccamaw Community Hospital and Tidelands Georgetown Memorial Hospital.

Community members can stop by the hospitals from 2-6 p.m. to safely and anonymously dispose of prescription and over-the-counter medications.

Responsible disposal helps prevent medicines from being flushed or poured down the drain, potentially harming the environment or allowing trace amounts of the medications to enter the water supply.

It’s important to safely dispose of unused medications in homes so they aren’t accidentally ingested, stolen, misused or abused.

In 2018, 9.9 million Americans misused controlled prescription drugs, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Most of the abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends – often from the home medicine cabinet.

“Don’t risk the chance of unused prescription medications falling in the wrong hands,” said John LaRochelle, vice president of operations for Tidelands Health. “Our medication take-back event creates a convenient and safe environment for you to dispose of those medications.”

This is the second medication take-back event Tidelands Health has organized this year.

More than 700 prescription bottles were collected and properly disposed of as a result of the health system’s first medication take-back in February.

“The tremendous response to our first take-back event shows that community members are eager to get rid of their unused medications, and these take-back events give them the ideal way to do that,” LaRochelle said. “We encourage people to dispose of those medications in a safe way during our event.”

The prescription drug take-back program is only open to residential households.

Individuals should not bring illegal substances, aerosol cans, anything containing a bodily fluid or blood, mercury thermometers, personal care products or household hazardous waste such as paint, pesticides, oil and gas.

Individuals unable to attend the drop-off event at Tidelands Health can dispose of unused prescription medications from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays in collection bins at the Georgetown and Litchfield locations of the Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office or from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays at the Georgetown Police Department.

Several other law enforcement agencies and pharmacies also offer medication disposal bins. Contact those agencies directly for more information.

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