Coos Bay, March 10, 2020: Bay Area Hospital has installed a permanent receptacle in the entrance to the Emergency Room as a place where community members can properly dispose of unused or extra prescription drugs at any time. The hospital has been part of the Drug Disposal Coalition since it was formed in 2015. This group is comprised of Bay Area Hospital, North Bend Medical Center, Coos Health & Wellness, and Advanced Health with support from the Coos Bay and North Bend Police Departments, the Coos Bay Fire Department, the South Coast Interagency Narcotics Team (SCINT), and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). 

Prior to the formation of the Drug Disposal Coalition, Bay Area Hospital had been holding Drug Take Back events for several years before a more formalized process and group were created to support the cause. Over the last three years over 700 pounds of medication have been collected at these events; these medications included unused or expired medications that could have been stolen, sold, used by someone the medication was not prescribed to, or disposed of incorrectly.  
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, almost half of Americans today use at least one prescription drug, and more than 10% use five or more prescription medications. While these medications help people to live longer, healthier lives, they lead to the question of where the drugs get disposed when they are no longer needed. These boxes serve as important tools to keep over-the-counter and prescription drugs out of homes, landfills, and water supplies, and provide the public a safe place to dispose of their medications. 
Other drug disposal boxes can be found in both the Coos Bay and North Bend police station lobbies. These boxes, along with the box at Bay Area Hospital are emptied regularly, and the contents are taken by law enforcement to be incinerated.  
Bay Area Hospital is again hosting a Drug Take Back event to be held this year on May 2nd from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Coos Bay Fire Department located at 450 Elrod Avenue, Coos Bay. The event now has the capacity to dispose of tools to inject medication such as needles, syringes, or ‘sharps’.  
If you have questions or need additional information, please contact Olivia Alley, Communications Coordinator at Bay Area Hospital at (541) 267-1991. 
Bay Area Hospital improves the health of our community every day and offers a comprehensive range of diagnostic and therapeutic services spanning medical, surgical, pediatric, critical care, home health, outpatient and acute psychiatric, oncology, obstetrical, and other specialties.