What You Can Do to Help With the Opioid Crisis

Huong Fralin's picture
By Huong Fralin on October 21, 2019
  • Saturday, Oct. 26 is National Drug Take-Back Day
  • Carilion Clinic Pharmacies and hospitals accept unused medications year-round, including legal narcotics such as opioids
  • Carilion's MedSafe kiosks have collected over 1,800 pounds of unused medications this year, safely and anonymously

Did you know that most misused prescription drugs are obtained right from our medicine cabinets?

Prescription drugs can be stolen or accidentally consumed by children or pets, and they can harm the water supply if flushed or put down a drain.

A free and anonymous way to make sure that old or unused medications don't cause harm to others is to drop them off at a MedSafe kiosk (the video below shows how). You can find one at each of the Carilion Clinic hospitals and pharmacies

“Safe disposal of unwanted or unused medications is an important element of our systemwide approach to opioid stewardship,” says Chad Alvarez, senior director of Retail Pharmacy at Carilion Clinic. “It helps us avoid the potential for abuse of medications.”

Since implementing this program last year, Carilion has collected over 1,000 pounds of medication through the kiosks.

Tips for Using the MedSafe Kiosks

Place all unused medications, including legally held controlled substances such as narcotics, into the MedSafe kiosk using the drop-door. Be sure to leave them in their original packaging and containers when possible. 

The following items should not be placed in the kiosks:

  • Illegal drugs
  • Liquid containers larger than four ounces (place those in a plastic baggie)
  • Sharps containers, needles or syringes
  • Batteries, chemicals or other hazardous materials
  • Aerosol spray cans
  • Trash
  • Medical devices

National Drug Take-Back Day is officially Saturday, Oct. 26, but every day can be drug take-back day. Find a collection site near you at DEAdiversion.usdoj.gov or stop by a Carilion Clinic hospital or retail pharmacy to dispose of yours safely.