FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — In a room filled with about 300 people, the question was asked — how many people have expired or unused prescription bottles at home?
Nearly every hand went up.
Calling it a public health concern, Lynn Jackson, administrator for Northside Hospital-Forsyth, called on the community to do more when it comes to prescription drugs that are expired.
“There are medicines that languish around our homes, unused, unwanted and expired,” Jackson said during the Drug Awareness Summit on Aug. 19.
“We leave them around for a lot of reasons: ‘Well, I might need it again,’ or it just sits there after taking part of it because you didn’t need the whole prescription, or maybe a family member may have passed away and you have all of those prescription drugs and you really don’t know quite what to do with them,” Jackson said.
At the hospital, drug overdose cases are common, so are cases where patients are struggling with addiction.
“Some of the ways that people get a hold of these drugs is through you,” Jackson told attendees.
Jackson said because people keep their prescription drugs in the restroom’s medicine cabinet, they are essentially making it easier for an addict who visits the home.
“We inadvertently are part of the problem,” she said.
Through the drug drop project, Jackson said people can drop off unused, unwanted or expired prescription drugs in boxes routinely checked by the sheriff’s office.
Currently, the Forsyth County Sheriff’s one prescription drop-off box is located in the South Precinct, behind South Forsyth High at 2985 Ronald Reagan Blvd. in Cumming.
Jackson said through a project called, “Prevention, Do Your Part,” the hospital is donating another prescription drop-off box at the North Precinct, located at Central Park, 2310 Keith Bridge Road.
Jackson asked the community to clean out their medicine cabinets and be part of the solution.
“We’re going to increase accessibility, so to that our citizens in our region will have a safe place to take those unused, unwanted, expired drugs and donate them into a safe place, where they don’t harm our water supply,” Jackson said. “It’s not good to flush them down the toilet because it harms our water supply. It’s definitely not a good idea to put them in the trash can.”