University of Maine Center on Aging
Project Title: Maine Prudent Disposal of Unwanted Medications
Project Location: State of Maine
Applicant Information: University of Maine Center on Aging
Type of Applicant: Non-profit State University
Total Grant: $150,000
The University of Maine Center on Aging: http://www.umaine.edu/mainecenteronaging/
The Maine Benzodiazepine Study Group (MBSG) overarching project partner: http://www.mainebenzo.org/
Brief Summary: The Maine Prudent Disposal of Unwanted Medications pilot will devise, implement and valuate a mail back plan to remove unused over the counter and prescription medications. A network of 75 distribution points located at pharmacies will provide for mailer pick up and drop offs to return unused medications. Informational materials for pharmacists, staff and individuals regarding the mailers will be developed and distributed. In addition, the pilot will test the effectiveness of an educational campaign about the hazards to life, health, and the environment posed by improper storage and disposal of unused mediations.
Environmental Outcomes: The University of Maine Center on Aging estimate that approximately 1.5 tons of unwanted medications will be collected from households in Maine and disposed of in a prudent fashion. The project intends to understand the practicality and costs associated with a mail back medication return program. It also expects to provide information on the best methods to educate older adults concerning the hazards of unused medications and improper disposal and a reduction in the amount of medications available for improper disposal and diversion or poisonings and lead to a heightened awareness by the public-at-large and older adults that could lead to accidental deaths, human and animal poisonings, and suicides caused by unused medications.