Medication drop off point set at Oracle Fire Department

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A new medication disposal box has been located at the Oracle Fire Department, convenient for Oracle and Mammoth residents who want to dispose of unused medications. (Jennifer Carnes photo)

By Jennifer R. Carnes

Late last month, the Oracle TRIAD, Pinal County Sheriff’s Office, Sun Life Family Health Clinic and Oracle Fire Department proudly opened the second medicine disposal box in the Tri-Community. The box is located inside the Oracle Fire Station at 1475 W. American Ave. and can be accessed through the main office.

Like the box installed in San Manuel, the medicine disposal box has some strict rules governing it:

Accepted Items

• Prescriptions

• Prescription Patches

• Prescription Medications

• Over-the-Counter Medications

• Vitamins

• Samples

• Pet Medications

Items that are NOT accepted:

• Hydrogen Peroxide

• Inhalers

• Aerosol Cans

• Ointments, Lotions or Liquids

• Medication from Businesses or Clinics

• Needles (Sharps)

• Thermometers

But what can you do with items that are not accepted? Christina, the pharmacy director at Sun Life Pharmacy, has these suggestions.

For liquids like cough syrup

Remove your name and prescription number from the bottle. Peel the labels off completely or use a permanent marker to hide the information. Then put used coffee grounds, kitty litter or even dirt into the bottle – enough, Christina said, to make sure that the liquid can’t be consumed. She then said to put the lid back on the bottle and duct tape it closed. Then dispose of the bottle in the household trash.

For needles (sharps)

Put the used needles into an old bleach or laundry bottle. When the bottle is approximately three-quarters full, duct tape the lid closed. With a permanent marker, write “Caution! Sharps!” or “Biohazard! Sharps!” on the side of the bottle. She said that the bottle can be taken to the Sun Life Pharmacy in San Manuel and it would be disposed with the rest of the clinic’s sharps. Christina said this method is also good for lancets used by diabetics to check their blood sugar levels.

For inhaler tubes and other goodies

Inhaler tubes, Christina said, can just be thrown away in the household trash. Ointments can also be thrown away in the household trash.

The medication disposal box will be overseen by the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office. It will be emptied by the department and the deposited medications will be destroyed by their experts.

For more specific questions on what can and cannot be deposited in the box, please contact the Sun Life Pharmacy at 520-385-2236. The knowledgeable staff will be able to answer your questions.

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Karen Lombardi is first in line to deposit unused medications. (Jennifer Carnes photo)

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