Valley Children’s Reminds Parents to Properly Dispose Prescription Medication

Valley Children’s Reminds Parents to Properly Dispose Prescription Medication

(Madera, California) – Today is National Opioid Awareness Day and Valley Children’s once again reminds the community to check frequently for unused, expired prescription drugs in their home and to dispose of them properly. Last year, Valley Children’s Hospital installed a medication disposal bin designated by the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to keep harmful and unused medications out of reach for children. Since then, Valley Children’s has collected more than 128 pounds of discarded drugs.

“Medication that is no longer needed can cause harm if they are taken by others, especially children, and flushing them down the drain or toilet contributes to environmental pollution,” says Valley Children’s Pharmacy Director Dr. Melissa Chase. “We have seen a tremendous response from the community since the installation of our medication bin, and we want to urge the community to utilize it even more.”

Valley Children’s medication disposal bin is located at the Imaging entrance of the hospital and is accessible to the public during normal business hours. Valley Children’s security personnel monitor the bin, which the community can use to safely dispose of prescription medications, liquids with tight caps, ointments/lotions, pet medications, prescription patches and over-the-counter medicine. Visit for other DEA-designated bins. You can also check with local county health departments to find a location close to you. In Fresno County, for instance there are drug disposal bins at several law enforcement agencies, including the Fresno County Sheriff’s Department, and Fresno, Clovis, Sanger and Coalinga police departments.

“We know that the opioid epidemic has gotten even worse during the COVID-19 pandemic, and properly disposing of your medication is one small thing that can make a huge impact on the safety of our kids,” adds Dr. Chase.

In recent months, opioid use – and the highly dangerous use of fentanyl, in particular – have become a public health crisis around the country and here in the Central Valley. Visit Valley Children’s “At the Heart” blog to read the perspective of one person at the forefront of this new war on drugs – Fresno County District Attorney and Valley Children’s Hospital Board of Trustees Member Lisa Smittcamp. Click here to read her story.

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