MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif.- (NNS) -- TRICARE beneficiaries now have a way to easily and safely dispose of expired and unused medications at Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton.
As part of the new DoD Drug Take Back program, a drop box has been installed near the pharmacy on the hospital's first floor. This new program, which is in line with the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, was created to cut the risks of accidental or intentional drug and opioid misuse and abuse.
"In the past people would dispose of their prescriptions by flushing them down the toilet, throwing them in the trash, or not getting rid of it at all" said Lt. Terence Cusack, NHCP Pharmacy department head. "This new program gives our beneficiaries a place to bring their medications and dispose of them with no questions asked."
Anything put into the box will be removed by a third party vendor and sent off for incineration and destruction. All TRICARE beneficiaries can use the drop box to dispose of their medications at any time.
NHCP's drop box can accept legal prescriptions and over-the-counter bottled pills, tablets and capsules, ointments, creams, lotions, powders and liquid medications that are no more than four ounces. Pet medications are also included in the program.
A partial list of items that are not accepted for disposal within the box includes aerosol spray cans, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, needles, syringes, sharps containers, trash, mercury thermometers, batteries and chemicals.
A 2014 change in the rules at the Drug Enforcement Administration now permits military treatment facilities to accept and dispose of medications.
For more information on the NHCP Drug Take Back program or drop box please contact Petty Officer 1st Class David Eldridge, NHCP Pharmacy leading petty officer, at 760-719-3535.
For more information, visit www.navy.mil, www.facebook.com/usnavy, or www.twitter.com/usnavy.