Parowan pharmacy launches city’s first unused, expired prescription drop box

L-R: Kathy Barnes, Parowan Pharmacy; Heidi Baxley, Iron County Prevention Coalition Coordinator; and Amber Rich, Cedar City Hospital Community Health Coordinator, pose next to a new prescription drop box is installed at Parowan Pharmacy as part of a community partnership, Parowan, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Intermountain Cedar City Hospital, St. George News / Cedar City News

ST. GEORGE — Iron County currently has an overdose rate that is nearly double the national average, so concerned community businesses like Parowan Drug & Gift teamed up with Intermountain Healthcare to provide a new prescription box in order to curb the opioid epidemic in Utah.

It’s the first prescription drop box in Parowan. Intermountain Healthcare donated $5,000 for the project to cover the cost of installation of the drop box at the pharmacy’s 20 N. Main St. location and the first three years of operations costs.

The drop box provides a place for residents to safely dispose of unused or expired medication, free of charge, and is available for use during regular business hours Monday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. This partnership was fostered by the Iron County Prevention Coalition, which facilitated the relationship to make this community drop box possible.

Heidi Baxley, Iron County Prevention Coalition Coordinator, said drop boxes keep individuals safe as well as the environment.

This new drop box is an important step in educating the community about the dangers of prescription medications,” Baxley said.

The U.S. Surgeon General says overdose deaths caused by opioids are a “national epidemic.” In addition to Iron County’s elevated overdose rate, drug poisoning is currently the leading cause of accidental death in both the county and the state, according to a press release from Intermountain Healthcare.

Intermountain officials are grateful to partner with Parowan Drug & Gift and the Iron County Prevention Coalition to make significant changes in the community.

“The reality is that more people die from overdose of prescription medication than all other illicit drugs combined in our state,” said Amber Rich, community health coordinator at Intermountain Cedar City Hospital. “This drop box’s main purpose is to help make our homes and families safer.”

Kathy Barnes, pharmacist at the Parowan pharmacy, said the drop box will be helpful for the community.

“We have people come to us who have lost loved ones or people who don’t know what to do with medications left in their cabinets,” Barnes said.

Having a drop box within the pharmacy offers additional benefits to the community including the ease of access and staff’s willingness to answer questions or concerns about medications, she said.

A complete listing of drop box locations and additional information about safe use, safe storage and safe disposal of medication can be found at the Use Only as Directed website.

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1 Comment

  • Real Life May 26, 2018 at 7:04 pm

    Dumpster would have to make 2 trips.

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