TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – The United Way of the Wabash Valley’s Substance Use Disposal Council has partnered with the Parke County Sherriff Department and the Sullivan County Community Hospital to provide permanent medication disposal kiosks.

The kiosks provide a safe and easy way year-round to dispose of unwanted or expired prescriptions and over-the-counter medications at no cost. They are open to the public and readily available in the lobby of both the Parke County Sheriff’s Department and Sullivan County Community Hospital.

Medicines that sit in home cabinets are highly susceptible to misuse and abuse, according to the United Way of the Wabash Valley. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.

“Sullivan County Community Hospital is excited to host a Drug Disposal Kiosk on site for the residents of Sullivan,” Kurt Hauger, R.Ph, Director of Pharmacy for Sullivan County Community Hospital, said. “Adding a Drug Disposal Kiosk at Sullivan County Community Hospital provides a safe place for residents of Sullivan to dispose of unwanted prescription medications. Not only does this help decrease the risk of accidental overdose, prescription theft and potential drug abuse, but it also has a positive impact on the environment keeping medications out our waterways and landfills.”

The medication disposal kiosks were made possible by the United Way’s federal grant through the Health Resources and Services Administration Rural Communities Opioid Response Program. This grant is providing new and expanded resources to combat substance use disorder in the United Way’s service counties of Sullivan, Parke and Vermillion.

“Our federal grant to address substance use disorder in the rural counties is bringing together a group of community partners to provide new resources,” Richard Payonk, Executive Director of the United Way, said. “These medication disposal kiosks are a great example of that work. We look forward to continuing our great partnerships to provide even more resources in the future for the community.”

In addition to these kiosks, United Way partners are providing more case managers and health professionals, peer recovery centers, recovery residences and more youth prevention programming.