MemorialCare Long Beach Medical Center recently hosted a Drug Take Back event – where the community is encouraged to bring expired or unused medications and sharps, such as diabetes testing and insulin supplies – for proper disposal, preventing them from falling into the wrong hands or contaminating waterways.

At this most recent biannual event, there were 29 drive-up participants and the MemorialCare team helped collect more than 980 pounds of expired medications.

"Collaboration was key to the success of the event, with the Long Beach Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Agency lending their support to this important health crisis,” said event coordinator, Amanda Mondor, RN.

Long Beach Police Department acted as the liaison between Long Beach Medical Center and the DEA, facilitating the coordination of logistics and ensuring smooth communication throughout the process. Their involvement was instrumental in getting Long Beach Medical Center listed on the DEA website as an official disposal site.

"Partnering with Long Beach Medical Center and the DEA for these events is a vital part of our commitment to community safety," said Jason Kirk, sergeant, Long Beach Police Department. "By providing a secure and accessible way for residents to dispose of unused medications, we help prevent drug abuse and environmental contamination, reinforcing the health and well-being of our community."

To collect medications and sharps from participants, Long Beach Medical Center set up canopy tents with boxes for each type of collection item. The collection items were promptly boxed up and inventoried, ready for transport. The DEA then took charge of loading the boxes onto their vehicles and transporting them to a designated warehouse for incineration – ensuring they are properly disposed.

“The Drug Take Back event exemplifies community collaboration in public health and environmental stewardship. Long Beach Medical Center is committed to working with the LBPD and the DEA to ensure access to safe disposable options,” said Mondor.