For more than two years, Agnesian HealthCare has been offering an easy way for area residents to properly dispose expired or no longer needed medications through drug drop locations, starting at St. Agnes Hospital and Waupun Memorial Hospital, and expanding to Ripon Medical Center shortly after.
In just this short amount of time, all three sites have collected more than 4,000 pounds of unused medications - or two tons!
This effort gives people in the community a place to dispose of medications that is both environmentally responsible and safe from potential abuse. A recent study has shown that nearly six in 10 Americans have leftover narcotics at home and 20 percent have shared those with another person.
The drug drop locations complement eight existing sites supported by the Drug Free Communities of Fond du Lac County in Brandon, Campbellsport, Fond du Lac, North Fond du Lac, Oakfield, Ripon, Rosendale and Waupun.
Agnesian HealthCare has been among one of the first health care systems in Wisconsin that offer drug drop boxes within a hospital location.
“Agnesian HealthCare recognizes that prescription drug abuse is a growing concern and one that affects all communities,” according to Katie Reinke, Agnesian HealthCare director of Pharmacy. “We know this service allows for safe disposal of unwanted medications. We are excited to offer a service that is great for both the community and the environment, and the communities we serve have responded far beyond our original expectations.”
Each Agnesian HealthCare drug drop location is right off the main lobby.
“We’re happy to be offering drug collection and disposal receptacles in the communities we serve so our patients and their families, as well as the general community, can safely and anonymously dispose of unused or expired medicines and controlled substances,” according to Reinke.
And, according to Reinke, it’s a simple process.
“Simply bring in your unused medications to one of these two locations and drop them into our drug drop box. The box provides a safe, cost-effective and convenient way to dispose of potentially dangerous drugs. It keeps them out of the hands of young people, helps to prevent prescription drug abuse and keeps our water supply safe.”
“We are appreciative of Agnesian HealthCare’s continued efforts to find safe ways to dispose prescription medications that are good for the environment, as well as keeping unwanted medications out of reach,” according to Ellen Sorensen, Drug Free Communities grant coordinator. “Our hope is to make it as easy as possible for individuals to drop off their prescription medications and avoid flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash. Studies show that these methods pose environmental risks, especially to our drinking water.”
All drug drop locations are open during hospital main entrance hours. Ripon Medical Center main entrance doors are open weekdays from 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., and weekends from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
St. Agnes Hospital main entrance doors are open seven days a week from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. At Waupun Memorial, weekday hours are 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., and weekend hours from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
For more information on drug disposal in Fond du Lac and Dodge County, visit agnesianpharmacy.com.