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86 MDS offers drug disposal

Prescription drugs lie on a table on Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Oct. 5, 2017. According to the Military Health System and Defense Health Agency, the availability of unwanted, unused, and expired prescription drugs are a major contributor to drug abuse. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Joshua Magbanua)

Prescription drugs lie on a table on Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Oct. 5, 2017. According to the Military Health System and Defense Health Agency, the availability of unwanted, unused, and expired prescription drugs are a major contributor to drug abuse. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Joshua Magbanua)

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany -- Often when people are prescribed medications they end up with more than they needed. Rather than letting them expire patients should dispose of them. But some people feel uneasy about using the FDA accepted methods of throwing medication in the garbage or pouring it down the drain, especially in an environmentally conscious country like Germany.

The 86th Medical Squadron pharmacy offers patients an option to properly dispose of unused prescription medicine on Ramstein Air Base, Germany.

According to the Military Health System and Defense Health Agency, medical treatment facilities overseas operate under their host nation’s medical disposal guidelines, according to the agency’s website health.mil.

The pharmacy on Ramstein Air Base has a return bin where individuals may place their expired or unwanted medication. The bin is located in the lobby and is available for use during the pharmacy’s operating hours.

“It has been available for some time,” said Master Sgt. Jonathan Strom, 86th MDS Pharmacy Flight Chief. “Our bin is secured at all times and picked up by a local contractor who disposes of the collection in accordance with German laws and regulations. We also coordinate drug take back events with the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center pharmacy on occasion.”

The MHS and DHA also pointed out that the availability of unwanted, unused, and expire prescription drugs are a major contributor to drug abuse.

According to health.mil, safe and proper disposal of unneeded drugs can benefit patients.