HMHP Drug Collection Exceeds 620 Pounds

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Collections of unused and expired prescription medications during National Drug Take-Back Day, April 28, exceeded expectations at Humility of Mary Health Partners.

Collections of unused and expired prescription medications during National Drug Take-Back Day, April 28, exceeded expectations at Humility of Mary Health Partners: St. Joseph Health Center in Warren collected 439.5 pounds; St. Elizabeth Health Center in Youngstown collected 181 pounds.

Last October, a similar collection netted 330 pounds of unused prescription medications, 80 pounds from the collection at St. Joseph and 250 pounds from the collection at St. Elizabeth.

“This is the most we’ve ever collected,” reports Robert Martin, an officer with the HMHP police department and organizer of the drug take-back program. Martin attributes the dramatic increase in the amount of drugs collected at St. Joseph to fewer collection sites in Trumbull County. “With fewer organizations taking part in this collection,” Martin says, “residents who may have disposed of their unused medications at other collection sites during previous drug take-backs this time brought them to the collection site at St. Joe’s.”

At St. Elizabeth, Martin says, “the amount of unused medications collected was smaller than it’s ever been. The amount of unused prescription medications collected at St. Elizabeth may have reached its plateau.”

Martin reasons that many residents who’ve had unused medications collecting in their homes for years likely disposed of them during previous drug collections. Now, the majority of medications collected are from the past six to eight months.

Even so, he says, the amount of medications collected is impressive “when you consider that one pill weighs about half a gram. There are 453 grams, or about 1,000 pills, in a pound.”

Packaging accounts for up to half the total weight collected.

HMHP has participated in National Drug Take-Back Day since it was introduced by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in 2009. Collections take place twice a year – spring and fall.

This was the fourth time St. Elizabeth Health Center has participated and the third time St. Joseph Health Center has participated.

Statewide, 27,704 pounds of unused medications were collected at 288 sites. This was the most successful collection in Ohio ever with the greatest number of participants and the largest amount of drugs collected.

Last fall, 19,625 pounds of drugs were collected at 240 sites. Last spring, 21,098 pounds of drugs were collected at 243 sites. The first collection, in the fall of 2010, netted 14,501 pounds of unused medications collected at 204 sites.

National Drug Take-Back Day seeks to prevent potentially dangerous prescription drugs from being misused or disposed of improperly. During the DEA’s prescription drug take-back program last fall, participants collectively turned in some 377,086 pounds – more than 188 tons – of unwanted and expired medications at 5,327 take-back locations throughout the United States.

About Humility of Mary Health Partners:
Humility of Mary Health Partners is an integrated health system located in the Youngstown/Warren area. It is a region of Catholic Health Partners (CHP) in Cincinnati, the largest health system in Ohio and one of the largest Catholic health systems in the United States. HMHP provides a full spectrum of health care services, including inpatient, outpatient, emergency, urgent care, home care and long-term care. Members are St. Elizabeth Health Center, St. Joseph Health Center, St. Elizabeth Boardman Health Center, HM Home Health Services, The Assumption Village, Humility House, Hospice of the Valley and Laurel Lake. Learn more about HMHP online at


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Maraline Kubik