Rogers County Prescription Drug Task Force (RCPDTF) will launch a public awareness campaign this month, promoting safe storage and disposal of medications. Task force members plan to gather baseline data to determine which pharmacies and agencies need or use prescription lock boxes in Rogers County.
Members are in the process of distributing brochures and flyers to each facility to better educate patients and the general public.
Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics (OBN) Diversion Director Mark Woodward said the law requires every hospice, nursing home etc. to follow certain guidelines and regulations for proper handling of medication.
“Frequent audits of these places are made by OBN agents to make sure procedures are strictly enforced,” said Woodward.
According to information from the Oklahoma State Board of Pharmacy, prescription medications dispensed to a hospice or nursing home patient who dies, must be left with a responsible family member upon the death of the patient. Under federal law, hospice employees do not have authority to accept or take the patient’s prescriptions and nursing homes may not destroy them or transfer to someone else for destruction.
Hospices or nursing homes may encourage a family member to destroy the medication or take it to a law enforcement disposal drop box, said Woodward.
Agencies may also request a police officer to come to a nursing home or assisted living facility to accept prescriptions that belonged to a patient if the patient or the patient’s family requests this.
As part of the public awareness campaign RCPDTF plans to check with area facilities to see if they have policies/procedures regarding safe storage and disposal. The goal is to prevent the medication from getting into the wrong hands. Task Force members plan to attend festivals and events throughout the year with information and give-aways to educate the community on prescription drug abuse.
RCPDTF promotes proper disposal of medication for individuals as well. Disposal sites are available for public use at the Rogers County Sheriffs Office, Chelsea Police Department and Claremore Police Department.
“Professional licensing agents pick up the disposal boxes and take them to Covanta Energy plants for recycling at no cost to the agency or state,” said Woodward.
For more information visit berxesponsible.com or facebook.com/RogersCountyPrescriptionDrugAbuseTaskForce.