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Emily Hansen, a pharmacist at Atchison Hospital, showcases a new prescription drug disposal bin inside the clinic waiting area at Atchison Hospital.

Atchison Hospital and Kex Rx in Atchison have partnered with Live Well Live Atchison in placing two medication disposal receptacles for unused, unwanted or expired medications.

As opiate addiction grows across the nation as a public health threat, the collection bins were funded by a grant awarded to LWLA with a focus on preventing prescription drug abuse in local youth.

One box is located at Kex Rx in Atchison, 807 Main St., and the other is located inside the clinic waiting room at Atchison Hospital. The boxes are accessible from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and the box at Kex Rx is open during business hours on Saturday. They’ve been in place for about a month.

The bins function a lot like a public mailbox. Simply walk up with your medications in hand, flip down the small door, and close it so the medications fall into the bin. The bin is locked until the contents can be collected. Whether pills, capsules, liquid, patches, prescription or over-the-counter medications, most everything is accepted. However, needles, sharp objects and illegal drugs are not accepted.

Andrea Clements, executive director of LWLA, expressed thanks to the hospital and to Kex Rx, as each entity has volunteered to house and maintain the bins, which are operated by a third-party vendor.

Clements said that the data specific to Atchison County shows that youth who use prescription drugs are getting them from relatives and friends. A free, discrete disposal option, she hopes, will translate to less availability and less use.

“This is a safe, free, convenient, reliable way to dispose of medications,” said Emily Hansen, a pharmacist at Atchison Hopsital.

Zach McNulty can be reached at zach.mcnulty@npgco.com.

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