Canton, Ohio: To help prevent the misuse of prescription drugs and address the safety and health hazards of pharmaceutical waste, Mercy Medical Center partnered with the Stark County Sheriff’s Office and Canton City Police Department to serve as a collection site for the United States Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) “Take-Back” Initiative on Saturday, April 30.
As one of the 17 drop-off locations for the initiative, Mercy Medical Center collected 110 boxes of expired and/or unused prescription and over-the-counter medications. Ryan Davis of the Drug Enforcement Administration reported that the Stark County sites combined collected a record total of 2,910 lbs. of medication (191 boxes), 304 lbs. of plastic recyclable pill containers, and 119 lbs. of sharps (hypodermic needles, etc). These amounts more than tripled the 2010 “Take Back” event total of 44 boxes (751 lbs. of medications, 223 lbs. of plastic recyclable pill containers and 100 lbs. of sharps).
As part of its internal Green Initiative to “faithfully heal the Earth”, Mercy Medical Center participates in the Prescription Take Back Initiative to give back to the community it serves, and to reduce the misuse and improper disposal of over-the-counter and prescription drugs which have become a major health issue and environmental hazard.
A 2008 national survey on drug use and health concluded there are currently 6.2 million non-medical users of psychotherapeutic drugs. Of the more than four billion prescriptions written yearly, 40 percent, or 200 million pounds of medication, go unused. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States are increasing at alarming rates, according to the United States Department of Justice. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.
About Mercy Medical Center
Mercy Medical Center, a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System, operates a 476-bed hospital serving Stark, Carroll, Wayne, Holmes and Tuscarawas Counties and parts of Southeastern Ohio. It has 620 members on its Medical Staff and employs 2,500 people. Mercy operates outpatient health centers in Carrollton, Jackson Township, Lake Township, Louisville, North Canton, Plain Township and Tuscarawas County. A Catholic hospital, Mercy Medical Center upholds the mission and philosophy of the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine and continues to be responsive to the needs of the community. For more information, see cantonmercy.org.
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