Permanent Prescription Disposal Drop Boxes in Park County
Four billion prescriptions are filled in the United States every year. Up to one-third of those prescriptions go unused. The average American household possesses four pounds of unused prescription medications. Disposing of medications like opioids, sedatives and stimulants helps prevent these drugs from being misused or abused. Through the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention, the Take Meds Seriously Campaign offers each county without a current drop box site in Colorado the opportunity to install a drop box for free to encourage the safe disposal of unused and expired prescription medications. Additionally, residents are encouraged and educated on proper disposal to avoid flushing prescription drugs down the toilet and impacting wildlife and the environment.
Communities all over the state of Colorado are installing prescription drop boxes in pharmacies and law enforcement agencies to take back these medications safely. This is specifically challenging in rural, mountain communities that do not have a local pharmacy. Park County is one such example. With approximately 17,000 year-round residents, Park County has no primary care office, no pharmacy, and only one grocery store. Lack of resources, isolation, proximity to many mountain passes and transportation issues make safe disposal of prescription drugs specifically challenging.
As Regional Health Connector for Park, Clear Creek and Gilpin Counties, Ashley Hill was determined to assist with installing a permanent disposal drop box site in Park County. After engaging Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention, Ashley obtained the drop box application and other pertinent information for installing a drop box in Park County almost two years ago. Unfortunately, the only place to install a drop box in Park County was at the sheriff’s office that was not interested in taking on additional work that would require officers’ time and resources. Ashley patiently waited until a new sheriff was elected in Park County to begin discussing the installation of permanent disposal drop boxes in Park County again. Through the collaborated efforts of Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention, Park County Public Health, Park County Jail, local law enforcement and the Regional Health Connector, Park County will have two permanent drop boxes installed in Bailey and Fairplay at local law enforcement locations to serve community members. Ashley remains a member of the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Safe Disposal Work Group to stay engaged and informed about safe disposal efforts throughout the state of Colorado.