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Hawaii J Med Public Health. 2014 Jan;73(1):26-31.

Drug take back in Hawai'i: partnership between the University of Hawai'i Hilo College of Pharmacy and the Narcotics Enforcement Division.

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Department of Pharmacy Practice, University of Hawai'i at Hilo College of Pharmacy, Hilo, HI (CSM, FB, DTJ).


Unused/unwanted medications in households and patient care facilities expose vulnerable populations, including children, elders, and pets, to potential harm through inadvertent ingestion, as well as the potential for theft and assault. Hawai'i Administrative Rules prohibit the return of any prescription medications to retail pharmacies after dispensing. The Hawai'i Narcotics Enforcement Division (NED) partnered with the University of Hawai'i at Hilo Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy (CoP) in eleven Drug Take Back events throughout the state. Most participants heard of the events via newspaper and television marketing. The most common methods of medication disposal are via trash or down household drains. Over 8,000 lbs of unused/unwanted medications was collected, identified and logged from 2011 through 2012. The majority of returned drugs were non-controlled substances (90%). Commonly returned medications included prescription cardiac medications such as simvastatin and lisinopril, non-prescription analgesics such as aspirin and ibuprofen, and dietary supplements such as vitamins and iron. Commonly returned controlled substance medications included narcotics such as hydrocodone/acetaminophen combinations and oxycodone, and sedative hypnotics such as zolpidem and lorazepam.

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