MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. --
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. — If you’re a Marine, Sailor or Tricare beneficiary who has old or unused prescription medications, the I Marine Expeditionary Force medical team wants you to return them to Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton for proper disposal as part of the Drug Take-Back Program.
Although the military has a zero tolerance policy on illicit drugs and prescription drug abuse, the bitter pill to swallow is the fact that prescription drug abuse does occur within military ranks.
“Through barracks inventories, Navy and Marine Corps leadership has found that Marines and Sailors have excessive prescription medication on person and in their rooms,” said U.S. Navy Capt. Sean Hussey, I MEF surgeon. “These medications can be dangerous if they are abused, and [I MEF leadership] isn’t totally convinced that Marines and Sailors know how to get rid of them. Our focus is to provide a safe avenue of return for their old, unused or expired medications.”
One way you can help is by properly disposing of any old or unused pills, ointments, tablets or liquid prescription medications. For your convenience, a medication drop-off bin is located at Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton. The bin is accessible 24 hours a day for authorized patrons to use.
Marines and Sailors can also dispose of prescription medication at many on-base area clinics, as well as off-base pharmacies and treatment centers.
Many people recover from an illness or injury before finishing all of the medications prescribed to them by their healthcare provider. This leads to leftover prescription medications lying around or getting disposed of improperly.
“They usually have them sitting around in the cabinet or they throw them away in the trash or they flush them down the toilet,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Zachary Coronado, a corpsman with I Marine Expeditionary Force Information Group.
I MEF medical personnel hope that by encouraging Marines and Sailors to rid their living spaces of unwanted or expired medication, they can promote a safer living space and reduce the potential of substance abuse.
“Our goal with the Drug Take-Back Program is safety,” said Hussey. “The longer those medications lie around, there is a larger potential for friends and family of our Marines and Sailors to abuse them. We want to do our part to keep our Marines, Sailors and their families safe and healthy.”