It’s prescription drug take-back day in the U.S. Safely dispose of any unneeded or expired medications by dropping them off at a prescription drug take-back site October 28, 2017, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
National prescription drug take-back day
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) sponsors the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Initiative in the U.S. to provide a safe and responsible way to dispose of prescription drugs. The DEA hopes to educate the public concerning potential misuse of medications. It’s important that patients help prevent their medications from being misused by others.
Click here to find the nearest prescription drug take-back collection site for you.
Prescription drug take-back day is also an environmental activity
Discarding prescription drugs is an environmental problem we seldom hear about. Randal Marks, PhD student in environmental engineering at University of Notre Dame, described the gravity of the problem. According to Marks, traditional techniques of water treatment may not remove contaminants that result from drugs in drinking water. He explained: “A worrisome class of emerging contaminants in drinking water includes pharmaceutical drugs and their related metabolites. These contaminants are not effectively removed using traditional treatment techniques and may cause significant and wide ranging damage to environmental and human health.”
Prescription drug take-back can help protect the environment as much as it helps protect people from inappropriate access to drugs.Drug take-back can protect the environment and people from inappropriate access to drugs Click To Tweet
Do you need a prescription drug take-back day?
I do. Personally I have some expired medications in my safe and I’m relieved that I can dispose of them safely. I’ve also been worried about how to safely get rid of some liquid Lortab from when my doctor gave me very small doses to reduce side effects. Neither the trash dump nor the water supply is an acceptable place to discard medications.
More medication safety tips
I got a medication safe a few years ago when I realized that any guest in my house, especially a vulnerable young person, might have access to a dangerous combination of meds. A safe can lower that risk.
1) Keep dangerous or addictive medications locked up in a medication safe. Keep the safe in a dry place that others cannot easily access – not the bathroom.
2) If you do not have access to a prescription drug take-back site, you can dilute the medication and make it unusable by mixing it with another substance such as kitty litter. The DEA recommends that you then seal it in a plastic bag before you throw it away.
3) Check medication expiration dates yearly to find expired ones to discard. Most medicines become less effective as they age, but some can actually make you sick. Last month I got a prescription to replace an outdated medicine I keep on hand but didn’t use up. The doctor was glad to replace it.
DO YOU NEED TO DISPOSE OF ANY OLD MEDICATIONS?
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Edited 10/27/17 to update take-back date.