April’s Drug Take Back Day had to be cancelled but there are still ways we can still dispose of our unused medications so they don’t end up in the wrong hands potentially leading to addiction and overdose.
WHY DO WE KEEP UNUSED MEDS?
According to the 2018 Choices Matter Survey:
9 in 10 surgery patients with leftover opioid pills admit that they keep them for future use, giving them to family or friends for their pain, or improperly disposing of them.
Also, nearly 1 in 5 surgical patients report refilling an opioid prescription even though they no longer need it to manage their pain.
WHY ARE UNUSED MEDS A PROBLEM?
2 in 5 teens believe prescription drugs are “much” safer than street drugs and see no harm in sharing them with friends. More than half obtained prescription medicines from their own family medicine cabinet. (drugfree.org)
HOW CAN WE HELP?
- CLEAN OUT YOUR MEDICINE CABINET and remove all unused and expired medications
- MONITOR & SECURE your current medications so they don’t accidentally end up in the wrong hands
- PROPERLY DISPOSE OF what you’re no longer using.
- DRUG DROP BOX – Most police stations and many pharmacies have self serve disposal kiosks where you can place unused medications.
- DRUG DISPOSAL PRODUCT – this is a packet or powder that renders your medications unusable and safe for household disposal. Some prescriptions come with these neutralizers or they can be obtained for free through your department of health or community services board. Current Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club pharmacy patients can request a free DisposeRX packet at any time.
- SELF DISPOSAL:
- TRASH: remove medication from bottle and mix (not crush) into a ziploc bag of used coffee grinds or kitty litter which render them unpallatable and safe for household disposal.
- FLUSH: flushing is not recommended for many medications as they can be harmful to the environment and our water supply, but there are some the FDA recommends we flush. Find the list HERE