MedReturn Pic

Pictured: Gary Lott, SCRMC director of pharmacy; Doug Higginbotham, president and CEO of SCRMC; Danita Horne, past president of Mississippi State Medical Association Alliance; Dr. Mark Horne, SCRMC chief medical officer; Tommy Cox, chief of police; Scaife Bradford, SCRMC director of security; and Rodrigues Carr, Narcotics Division. Photo/submitted

Laurel, Miss – Citizens looking to dispose of excess and expired prescription and over-the-counter medications can now visit the safe and secure permanent drop-off location at South Central Regional Medical Center in Laurel.

Mississippi State Medical Association Alliance has joined forces with the Laurel Police Department to establish a permanent MedReturn drug collection program in order to reduce the supply of drugs that can potentially harm teens and adults.

According to the 2011 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), more than six million Americans abuse prescription drugs. Among youth who are 12 to 17 years old, 7.4 percent reported in the past year non-medical use of prescription drugs.

Laurel Police Department Chief of Police Tommy Cox explains: “Prescription drug abuse is a big problem in our county and in our country and unwanted, unneeded or expired drugs that languish in the medicine cabinets at home are susceptible for abuse or unintentional ingestion by children. In Jones County there are a lot of overdose related deaths. There is a great need for a place to put these unused, unwanted expired medications to make our community a safer place drugs are concerned.”

Danita Horne, past president of Mississippi State Medical Association Alliance, stated, “Properly

disposing of excess drugs is everyone’s responsibility as a matter of public safety. More than 70 percent of young people who abuse prescription pain relievers get them through friends or family, a statistic that includes raiding the family medicine cabinet. Now citizens in our community will not have to wait for a specific take-back day to clean out their medicine cabinets.”

The collection site at South Central Regional Medical Center is open seven days a week from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Drugs can be dropped off with no questions asked. The drug collection unit is located in the front lobby of South Central Regional Medical Center. Participants may remove prescription labels or other personal information from each container. All collections will remain completely anonymous.

The drug collection unit is produced by MedReturn, LLC, of Grafton, WI. MedReturn, LLC, is committed to providing a safe, secure and environmentally friendly way to help law enforcement agencies and communities collect unwanted or expired household medication, including prescriptions, over-the-counter drugs and unused pharmaceuticals.

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