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April 25, 2018/News Releases

Cleveland Clinic Providing Safe Way for Community to Dispose Unneeded Medications

Three medication disposal boxes installed at Cleveland Clinic campuses

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As part of its commitment to curbing the epidemic of prescription drug misuse, Cleveland Clinic is providing a safe method for disposal of medications that are expired or no longer needed. Three medication disposal kiosks have been installed in the outpatient pharmacies at the Richard E. Jacobs Family Health Center in Avon, Cleveland Clinic Hillcrest Hospitalin Mayfield Heights and the Euclid Avenue Pharmacy at Cleveland Clinic main campus.

Any approved prescription medications are accepted, including aerosols, liquids in sealed containers, tablets, capsules, creams and lotions. Disposals can be done anonymously. Illegal drugs, sharps, loose liquid, and non-pharmaceutical products cannot be deposited. Following DEA recommendations, once disposed of, the medications are taken to a disposal facility and incinerated. Medications can be dropped off during pharmacy hours.

“Overdoses and deaths from prescription medication are a serious problem in our community and across the country,” said Rebecca Starck, M.D., president of Cleveland Clinic Avon Hospital. “Safely removing unused medications from the home can be a vital step in both preventing drug abuse and decreasing accidental exposures.”

Keeping unused medications can lead to accidental exposures and drug abuse. According to the NIH National Institute on Drug Abuse, an estimated 54 million people have used medications for nonmedical reasons at least once in their lifetime. Opioids are among the most misused prescriptions – with 75 percent of those who abuse reporting their first opioid was a prescription. The NIH reports that unintentional opioid pain reliever deaths have quadrupled since 1999, and that nearly 80 percent of heroin users reported using prescription opioids prior to heroin.

“Not only does this provide a safe and convenient way for patients to dispose of drugs they no longer need, it is an environmentally-friendly method that prevents controlled substances from getting into the water system and the environment,” said Scott Knoer, PharmD, Chief Pharmacy Officer at Cleveland Clinic.

April 28 is the DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, which aims to raise awareness of responsible means of prescription drug disposal and to educate the public about medication abuse.

Disposal kiosks are available during regular pharmacy hours, which are as follows:

Cleveland Clinic Euclid Avenue Pharmacy, 1st Floor of Visitor Parking Garage #1
9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland
Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Avon Ambulatory Pharmacy, 1st Floor, Richard E. Jacobs Health Center
33100 Cleveland Clinic Blvd, Avon
Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Cleveland Clinic Hillcrest Hospital, 1st Floor, Atrium
6780 Mayfield Rd., Mayfield Heights
Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

More information on how Cleveland Clinic is dealing with the opioid epidemic can be found here.

About Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, it was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. Cleveland Clinic is consistently recognized in the U.S. and throughout the world for its expertise and care. Among Cleveland Clinic’s 81,000 employees worldwide are more than 5,743 salaried physicians and researchers, and 20,160 registered nurses and advanced practice providers, representing 140 medical specialties and subspecialties. Cleveland Clinic is a 6,690-bed health system that includes a 173-acre main campus near downtown Cleveland, 23 hospitals, 276 outpatient facilities, including locations in northeast Ohio; Florida; Las Vegas, Nevada; Toronto, Canada; Abu Dhabi, UAE; and London, England. In 2023, there were 13.7 million outpatient encounters, 323,000 hospital admissions and observations, and 301,000 surgeries and procedures throughout Cleveland Clinic’s health system. Patients came for treatment from every state and 132 countries. Visit us at clevelandclinic.org. Follow us at twitter.com/CleClinicNews. News and resources available at newsroom.clevelandclinic.org.

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