FULTON, NY – A new opportunity to discard of unused or expired medications is now available at the Fulton Police Department.
The Oswego County Prevention Coalition, in working with a Rite Aid grant program, secured the box that is permanently housed at the police department for no charge.
Fulton Police Chief Orlo Green said the department will be responsible for emptying, weighing, and disposing of the contents of the medication when the box becomes full.
“This is providing a service that is needed,” Green said. He noted circumstances in which people, especially the elderly, may have unused medications that end up in the wrong hands.
“We want this stuff off the streets, not accessible to anyone who isn’t supposed to have it. Especially as we see an opioid epidemic happening all over the country, this is important for our community,” he said.
Fulton’s medication disposal box follows other locations throughout the county to house a safe medication disposal method including Oswego Police Department and The Medicine Place in Phoenix.
Oswego County Prevention Coalition Coordinator Tyler Ahart explained the importance of a medication drop box for the community when citing research that found that children have the most access to drugs and alcohol in their own home.
“This is always a big goal for us, to get these medications out of the house,” he said. “When people don’t use all of a prescription or it expires, it tends to just sit around the house. You may forget it is even in the medicine cabinet. This provides a resource to use the prescription as intended and then drop it off discreetly and safely.”
Though a common misconception indicates that it may be safe to crush, throw away, or flush unwanted medications, Ahart said these disposal practice are still dangerous for the general public.
“That’s not the way to dispose of them anymore. There’s a process, they must be incinerated and disposed of entirely,” he said.
The tamper proof box is secured to the wall within the entrance of the Fulton Police Department located at 141 S. First St., open 24 hours a day.
The discreet disposal requires no forms or communication, simply lift the door and insert the unwanted medications.
Allowable substances include:
- Prescription medications
- Over the counter medications
- Medication for pets
For safety concerns, substances not allowed include:
- Lotions or liquids
- Aerosol cans
- Hydrogen Peroxide