Do you have expired or unused medications that you need to dispose of? Well, DO NOT flush them! I had never thought about it before, but there's no telling what we have in our water supply these days. Sure, there are ways to make the water safe for drinking, but you gotta think that there is no way to filter out some things from the water supply.
So, how do you dispose of medications properly? If you go to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration website, you'll find lots of helpful tips. First, you should never flush a medication unless it specifically tells you to on the label. Do not throw medications directly into the trash. There's no telling who or what is going through your trash or will go through it in a dumpster or even the landfill.
April 28, 2012 has been designated as a National Prescription Drug Take Back Day in the US. Check out the website in March to see where you can drop off any expired or unused prescription drugs. This is a fantastic opportunity to make sure drugs don't get placed in the wrong hands.
If you aren't able to participate in the Take Back Day, and your medication label has no specific instructions, follow the FDA's recommendation to mix your medication with an undesirable substance, such as coffee grounds or kitty litter. This will make the medication less desirable to animals and kids, and unrecognizable to dumpster divers. Next, put the medication/undesirable substance mixture in a sealable can, container, or bag, to prevent leaks.
Other advice from the FDA website:
- Scratch out all identifiable information on any prescription label to make it unreadable and to protect your identity and privacy.
- Do NOT give any medication to anyone else.
If it was prescribed to you, it is your responsibility to make sure it is only taken by you or disposed of properly. Most importantly, if any kids or teens have access to your medications, they need to be locked up. Even if you trust your own kids, you probably don't trust every single one of their friends that come to your house. Did you know that selling prescription medications is a big problem in America right now, especially among teens? Be safe and lock up your medications and talk to your kids about how dangerous prescription medications can be if they're taken by someone else.