Wednesday, February 8

Blue Boxes Set Up for Unwanted Meds


Those blue boxes at hospitals aren’t to mail letters: Blue receptacles that look a lot like mail boxes are the latest weapon in a battle against abuse of prescription drugs as hospitals set them up to take back unwanted medications.

New Hyde Park-based Northwell Health, for instance, isn’t just dispensing medications: It’s helping people dispose of them once they’ve become expired or remain unused with these blue receptacles.

Eleven Northwell Health facilities across Long Island, Queens, Manhattan and Staten Island will be accepting unused and expired medications on National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on October 26 in special boxes.

The hospitals will set up secure receptacles for anyone to safely deposit leftover medications from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. that day. Northwell hospitals taking part in Drug Take Back Day include

“Safely disposing of unwanted medications from our homes is a vital step all New Yorkers can take in an effort to reduce access to harmful substances,” said Dr. Sandeep Kapoor, Northwell’s director of screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment program.

Northwell Health also installed blue, safe disposal receptacles in the lobbies of Huntington and Southside hospitals which are accessible to all patients, visitors and staff all year long – as these boxes become a weapon in the war against prescription drug abuse.

In collaboration with Engel Burman, Northwell is also developing a residential substance use disorder treatment and research center in Calverton called Wellbridge.

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day happens twice a year. In April, Northwell Health collected about 580 pounds of unused prescriptions at 12 sites.


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