HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Soon you'll be able to drop off old medications at Hattiesburg Clinic, which is teaming up with the Mississippi Medical Alliance to install a drop box.
More than 115 Americans die each day from opioid overdoses.
"I'm a pharmacist by training," said Heather Rifkin, President of Mississippi State Medical Association Alliance. "I feel like when I graduated from pharmacy school, we were addressing pain as almost the fifth vital sign. I feel like the need to address pain is still there, but we also need to know there are alternatives and other ways to treat patient's pain besides opioids."
Rifkin, has a passion for helping the community.
"We had a discussion about how our small group could play a role and help the community combat the opioid crisis that we are facing in the state of Mississippi," Rifkin said.
The initiative is to allow a safe and secure option for people needing to get rid of old medication, including opioids.
"You just simply drop your un-needed medications in the box," Rifkin added. "They will be collected and properly destroyed for you."
According to the Mississippi State Department of Health, most overdose deaths in our state are accidental, caused by people using prescription drugs.
"I think it's very important people understand the need for proper medication disposal," Rifkin said. "Not just opioids, but all prescription medications or over the counter medications. Any medication you are finished taking that is expired or you no longer need for your family should be properly disposed of. We don't want those things flushed down the toilet or put into a normal trash can where they can become a hazard or a danger to the community."
Systems that let you get rid of medications at your home are available through Owl Drug Store and other pharmacies across the Pine Belt.
The ribbon cutting for the safe box will be held April 11th inside Hattiesburg Clinic.