June 30, 2016

Partly sunny

Medina Hospital added for medicine disposal

MEDINA — The 12th prescription medicine drop-off site in the county should be installed by the end of the year at Medina Hospital.

The drop-off is part of the Dispose of Unused Medication Properly program, or DUMP. It is designed to provide safe locations to dispose of unused or expired prescription medications.

“It’s just another opportunity for people to become more aware of this program,” said Brian Nowak, executive director of the Medina County Drug Abuse Commission.

The drop-off points are mailbox-style boxes around the county at police departments and at the Medina County Sheriff’s Office. Nowak said the box at the hospital would be the first at a location other than a law enforcement office.

The new DUMP box cost $700 and was paid for by a National Association for Drug Diversion Investigation grant, he said.

Nowak said he’s sure the location will be safe because of Jim Bigam, the hospital’s director of safety and security. Nowak said Bigam has experience as a police officer, so the commission and the Medina County Drug Taskforce believe the location is appropriate.

Bigam could not be reached for comment.

“Since there’s 24-hour police presence there, we decided to put one at the hospital,” task force agent Tad Davis said.

Davis said placing a DUMP box at the hospital was an obvious choice, considering medications and hospitals go hand in hand.

Since its start in November 2010, the DUMP program has collected about 3,000 pounds of medications.

Davis said he “absolutely expects” to reach 4,000 pounds by April, the month medications are incinerated each year.

“I’m just tickled to death that it’s doing so well,” he said.

Davis said the program is not only good for health reasons; it also is environmentally friendly. Residents can dispose of medications cleanly instead of flushing them down a toilet or throwing them in the trash.

He said the program is a direct response to pharmaceutical drug abuse in the county.
In Medina County, 6 percent of adults misused prescription drugs in the past six months, according to a Living Well Medina County survey published in September. The survey reported prescription drug abuse more common than marijuana use among Medina County adults.

“Pharmaceutical abuse is an epidemic,” Davis said. “We see the need for these boxes.”

Contact reporter Nick Glunt at (330) 721-4048 or nglunt@medina-gazette.com.

-Brunswick Police Department, 4095 Center Road
-Brunswick Hills Township Police Department, 505 Substation Road
-Hinckley Township Police Department, 1410 Ridge Road
-Lodi Police Department, 110 Ainsworth St.
-Medina County Sheriff’s Office, 555 Independence Drive, Medina
-Medina Hospital (in the works), 1000 E. Washington St.
-Medina Township Police Department, 3801 Huffman Road
-Montville Township Police Department, 6665 Wadsworth Road
-Seville Police Department, 120 Royal Crest Drive
-Spencer Police Department, 109 N. Main St.
-Wadsworth Police Department, 120 Maple St.
-Westfield Center Police Department, 6701 Greenwich Road

Nick Glunt About Nick Glunt

Nick Glunt primarily covers courts and crime in Medina County. He served The Gazette from September 2012 to December 2015. Contact him at (330) 721-4048 or via email at nglunt@medina-gazette.com.