Disposing of medicines you no longer need can help keep your family safe from accidental overdose or recreational drug use. Prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines and vitamins can all pose a risk to your family if they are taken by someone who doesn’t need them. You should consider cleaning out your medicine supply once a year to keep track of what you have and get rid of anything that has expired.
In previous posts of this three-part series, we talked about safe medication storage and ways to secure your medicines. In the final part of this series, we will look at how to properly dispose of the drugs you no longer need. If you, or a loved one, need a Raleigh drug and alcohol treatment center, please call Legacy Freedom today.
How to Dispose of Meds Properly
Don’t just flush those old drugs down the toilet. By doing that, you’re potentially sending them into the water system, which causes it to become polluted. It could even affect the water you drink.
Throwing them in the trash isn’t the best idea, either. Someone could rummage through your trash to steal them, or animals could get into them. While you may not mind if that pesky neighborhood raccoon overdoses, you don’t want your neighbor’s nosy dog to be hurt because he couldn’t resist tearing into your trash before it was picked up on trash day.
But, if you must throw them in the trash, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has instructions on the best way to do it. First, mix it with an inedible substance like dirt, cat litter or coffee grounds, but avoid crushing the pills. Put the mixture in a plastic bag you can seal, such as baggie with a zip top. Then you can put it with your trash. Be sure to scratch out the personal information on the bottle labels so that it’s illegible.
The best way to get rid of unwanted medications is to drop them off at medicine take-back events. In order to help communities dispose of medicines properly, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration holds a National Prescription Drug Take-Back events in many areas. You can check here to find out if one is coming to your area in the near future.
You can also check your local police stations. Some have drop boxes available year-round where you can safely drop off unused medicines. Some health care facilities may also have events or drop boxes. Call your general physician to see if their office participates.
The website Dispose my Meds also lets you search by location to see if there is a place near you that allows drug drop offs.
While many of the drug drop off options are generally for prescriptions drugs, you should take caution when throwing out OTC medicines, herbs and vitamins as well. Any type of medicine or herbal remedy has the potential to be harmful if ingested by the wrong person, or if it’s taken in a large quantity. By being responsible in how you handle, store and dispose of medicines, you can help keep your family safe.
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If you suspect a loved one may have a substance abuse problem, call our Raleigh drug and alcohol treatment center. We offer outpatient therapy in a safe, caring environment so that they can continue to go to school. Our customized treatment plans offer many different types of therapy options that meet the needs of the individual to ensure that he or she has the tools needed for a full recovery. We can help you get your child the help he or she needs. Give us a call today.