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‘Shed the Meds’ Prescription Drug Take-Back Collects Nearly 65 Pounds of Unused, Unwanted and Expired Meds

Representatives from Carthage Area Hospital, State Sen. Patty Ritchie’s office and law enforcement collected 62.5 pounds of unused, expired or unwanted prescription medications during a “Shed the Meds” event at the hospital May 4.

The three-hour drug take-back held at the hospital’s main campus helped to eliminate the potential abuse of unwanted prescription medications while also protecting the environment and regional waterways from improper disposal.

“Responsibly disposing prescription drugs that are expired or unwanted is critical to protecting the environment, as well as public health and safety,” Sen. Ritchie said. “My sincere thanks to Carthage Area Hospital and local law enforcement for teaming up to help people ‘shed the meds,’ and safely get rid of medications they no longer need.”

The event offered people a safe, legal way to dispose of medications. Thursday was at least the third time since 2014 that Carthage Area Hospital, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department and the Village of Carthage Police Department joined Sen. Ritchie to help North Country residents ‘shed the meds.’

“Last week’s hospital event was a huge success for the second consecutive year. It demonstrates our commitment to proper medication use as well as keeping our communities safe while guarding against unused and potentially dangerous prescription drugs falling into the wrong hands,” said hospital Clinical Pharmacist Christopher M. Bradley, PharmD, MBA, RPh. “My thanks to Sen. Ritchie’s office, as well as the Jefferson County Sherriff’s Department for coordinating the event with us.”

The hospital strives each day to promote the health and well-being of its communities. In June 2016, a similar event collected roughly 92 pounds of unwanted prescription medications. Sen. Ritchie’s office also facilitated that event.

About Carthage Area Hospital

Carthage Area Hospital was established as a not-for-profit rural community hospital in 1965. It operates today as a fully accredited 25-bed Critical Access Hospital, serving approximately 83,000 residents in Jefferson, northern Lewis and southern St. Lawrence counties.

   The hospital also operates a network of community-based clinics, including its Family Health Center, Pediatric Clinic and Women’s Way to Wellness and provides a range of specialty care, including general surgery, orthopedics, urology, physical therapy and behavioral health.