SSM Health Illinois now offers a safe and sustainable solution for household medication disposal

SSM Health Illinois today announced that it has partnered with leading regulated medical waste management company Stericycle, Inc. to offer MedDropTM Medication collection kiosks at SSM Health Good Samaritan Hospital and SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital. Stericycle’s MedDropTM kiosks provide community patrons with a safe, secure, confidential, and convenient way to dispose of unused or expired household medications.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drug overdose deaths in the U.S. increased by nearly 30% from 2019 to 2020 – an unprecedented spike fueled in part by the COVID-19 pandemic₁. Of the estimated 93,331 American deaths from drug overdose in 2020, the CDC reports that nearly three-quarters involved an opioid₁.

“A primary element fueling the growing opioid crisis is the diversion of prescription painkillers from the intended user to friends or family members who were not prescribed the medication,” said Khalil Rabie R.Ph., Regional Director of Pharmacy Services at SSM Health. “Although limiting the prescription of these medications is critical, so too is ensuring a safe and sustainable way to dispose of unused or expired drugs. Through the implementation of MedDropTM medication collection kiosks and our partnership with Stericycle, SSM Health will provide a convenient disposal option for the community.”

SSM Health’s 2021 Community Health Needs Assessment survey has identified substance abuse prevention as one the of the top priority needs to address for the community of Jefferson and Marion County. With nearly 51% of respondents from the survey indicating that substance abuse is a prevalent issue in the area, it is important for SSM Health to provide opportunities that mitigate the risks of abusing substances and provide programs that will reduce harm and improve health for its community members.

MedDropTM kiosks help combat the opioid epidemic by providing safe disposal of unused or expired medications that could otherwise have been diverted or abused. While MedDropTM collection kiosks help keep medications away from unintended users, they also protect the environment by mitigating the contamination of waterways and drinking water systems as a result of improper disposal from flushing. Since its launch in 2016, Stericycle’s MedDropTM is part of a broader Stericycle portfolio of Safe Community Solutions that offers a variety of disposal options for common household healthcare wastes.

MedDropTM kiosks are also free, conveniently located, and accessible year-round. Residents can safely dispose of unwanted, unused, or expired medications, including controlled substances (Schedules II-V), as well as over-the-counter items. The MedDropTM collection kiosks are located inside the Emergency Department entrances of Good Samaritan Hospital – Mt. Vernon and St. Mary’s Hospital – Centralia and is available 24 hour a day any day of the week. Collected materials will be properly disposed of by Stericycle, Inc.

To use the MedDropTM kiosk, residents should first make sure that their medication does not include any needles, sharps, aerosols, or batteries, which are not accepted. All medications should be contained in a sealed bottle or jar (especially liquids, creams, and ointments), and residents should remove or obscure any personally identifiable information. Unwanted medication can then be placed in the MedDropTM kiosk at no cost.

For more information about our MedDropTM medication kiosk program, call Julie Robertson-Brooks, Community Health Specialist, at 618-899-1082.

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