Baptist Health initiates program to supply patients with drug disposal bags

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LEXINGTON, KY. (WTVQ) – Effective February 11, patients at Baptist Health Lexington who are prescribed an opioid medication and are enrolled in the hospital’s Meds-to-Beds program are now receiving a drug disposal bag when they are discharged from the hospital.

Once a patient’s pain has been well managed, he or she can place their unused pain medications in the biodegradable bag. When warm water is added to the bag and it is sealed and shaken, the activated carbon in the bag renders the drugs inert and safe for the household trash.

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The hope is that the drug disposal bags will serve as visual reminder for the patient, explained Mike Anderson, the hospital’s director of pharmacy. “When they get home, they can place the bag on their counter,” Anderson said. “In a week or so when their pain is gone or is being managed by over-the counter pain relievers, it will remind them to use the bag to dispose of their unused medications they were prescribed.”

Another drug disposal option is to bring unused prescription medications or other drugs to the Baptist Health Lexington Pharmacy, located on the first floor of the hospital’s North Tower. The pharmacy has a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration-approved drug take-back container that allows for easy disposal of medications. To find a list of other drug take-back locations in Kentucky and around the country, go to baptisthealth.com/medication-disposal.