HELENA – Getting rid of unused medications just got a little easier in Montana thanks to a local effort and a federal grant.
Youth Connections of Helena announced that 100,000 medication disposal bags have been delivered to Montana.
In a cooperative effort between state, local agencies and Youth Connections, a federal grant was obtained from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
The bags can be used to safely dispose of medications that are no longer needed. Instead of flushing them down the toilet or tossing them into a landfill.
The bags provide meds inert and can be thrown away safely protecting kids, animals and the environment. They are part of an effort to promote safe use, storage and disposal of medications.
The timing for the prevention effort is especially good since Suicide Prevention Week begins Monday.
“We know we’ve had a lot of youth attempt suicide using medications and so just reducing that access is huge,” said Youth Connections Executive Director Coleen Smith. “And you just fill it with warm tap water and wait 30 seconds and then just throw them in the garbage.”
The bags will be distributed by the Montana Department of Health and Human Services across the state, including pharmacies, health departments and law enforcement agencies.
Lewis and Clark County’s Health Department health officers will be handing out the bags during their home visits. Counties without drug drop boxes will get a larger number of bags.