Greer, S.C. – Upstate residents are estimated to bring home over five million prescriptions per year, and many of those drugs end up in the trash, the toilet, or the wrong hands when they go unused. Project Rx, in partnership with the Carolina Center for Behavioral Health, aims to combat this problem in Greer through the installation of a permanent drug disposal bin at Greer Memorial Hospital.
The drop-box is a free, secure, anonymous service that provides the safest way to dispose of unwanted or expired medication. The collection site will accept unwanted or expired prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, vitamins and supplements, and veterinary medications from households only. Needles or syringes will not be accepted. Greenville Health System (GHS) Police and local law enforcement oversee proper disposal of the medication through incineration.
The Project Rx taskforce, including GHS and Renewable Water Resources (ReWa), has committed to providing a more permanent solution to drug disposal than periodic take-back days. Year-round availability allows individuals to dispose of prescription medications at their own convenience, keeping drugs out of our waterways and the hands of children or those who may misuse them.
“Greer Memorial Hospital prides itself on being able to serve our community and we appreciate the opportunity to partner with others to offer this much-needed service,” said John Mansure, president of Greer Memorial Hospital. “We invite the community to visit our campus to dispose prescriptions while keeping our families and water supply safe.”
This box will be the third installed by Project Rx at a GHS hospital. The coalition installed the first permanent drop-box at Greenville Memorial Hospital in spring 2016, and has collected approximately 625 pounds of medication since its installation. An additional drop-box is located at Oconee Memorial Hospital, and one is planned for Hillcrest Memorial Hospital in Simpsonville. Each box is sponsored by community partners committed to curbing drug abuse and water pollution in the Upstate.
“The Carolina Center for Behavioral Health annually cares for thousands of men and women in the Upstate who are dealing with the devastating effects of drug addiction,” said John Willingham, CEO of The Carolina Center. “We see this community drug drop box as a great way to prevent unused drugs from becoming a part of the problem.”
Project Rx also aims to educate residents about the impact that improper medication disposal can have on local waterways, as chemicals from pharmaceuticals that have been flushed or thrown away can leak into the water supply.
“ReWa is delighted to be a part of this environmentally friendly, convenient and sustainable solution for the Upstate. Since its inception in 2010, ReWa has been proud to play a vital role in this community collaboration. We are honored to provide continued support for this unique initiative,” said Graham Rich, executive director of ReWa.
The drop-box is located outside of the main hospital entrance and is available 24/7.
The Project Rx taskforce has been combatting this issue since 2010, and has collected a total of 12,676 pounds of unwanted medication, approximately the weight of nearly four compact cars.
For more information, visit the Project Rx website at www.ariverremedy.org.
About Project Rx: A River Remedy
Founded in 2010, Project Rx: A River Remedy is a local collaboration of community organizations united to help keep our rivers and residents safe from unused medications. As a safe alternative to flushing unwanted medications down the drain, or leaving them at home within the reach of the wrong hands, this program allows Upstate residents to bring prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, vitamins and supplements to a drop-box for a free and safe disposal, the perfect remedy for our community.
About Greenville Health System
Greenville Health System (GHS) — an academic health system that is the largest not-for-profit healthcare delivery system in South Carolina — is committed to medical excellence through research, patient care and education. GHS offers patients an innovative network of clinical integration, expertise and technologies through its eight medical campuses, tertiary medical center, research and education facilities, community hospitals, physician practices and numerous specialty services throughout the Upstate. The 1,358-bed system is home to 15 medical residency and fellowship programs. GHS is also home to the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville, a joint effort of USC and GHS. Visit ghs.org for more information.
About Renewable Water Resources (ReWa)
ReWa’s goal is to promote a cleaner environment, and to protect the public health and water quality of the Upstate waterways, while providing and developing the necessary sewer infrastructure for the growing economy. ReWa serves more than 400,000 industrial, commercial and residential customers in Greenville County and parts of Anderson, Spartanburg, Pickens and Laurens Counties.
About The Carolina Center for Behavioral Health
The Carolina Center for Behavioral Health offers inpatient and outpatient psychiatric and addiction treatment for adults, senior adults, and adolescents at its 130-bed facility in Greer, South Carolina. Assessments are available 24 hours a day and referrals may be made by anyone by simply calling The Carolina Center at 864-235-2335. Please visit thecarolinacenter.com for a virtual tour and additional information.