The DEA held its 17th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on April 27, 2019.
The idea of the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is to provide a convenient, responsible, and safe way to get rid of unused or unwanted prescription drugs. It is also a way of spreading information and educating the public about the safe disposal of medications and the potential for their abuse.
The Center for Disease Control reported in 2014 that almost 2 million Americans abused, or were dependent on, prescription opioids. (Most commonly Methadone, Oxycodone and Hydrocodone.) Unused portions of these medications must be disposed of properly to avoid harm and prevent addiction.
Other medications, besides for opioids, must also be properly disposed of.
Some medications are more harmful when misused than others. There are medications that can be fatal in a single dose if taken by a person they weren’t prescribed for. Other side effects of prescription drug abuse range anywhere from mild mental confusion to failure of vital organs.
I Missed the Drug Take Back Day! But I still have Medicine I’d like to get rid of.
A) Visit the DEA website for ideas and temporary drop-off locations in your area.
B) Check the package for disposal directions.
Some medications indicate that they should be flushed down a sink or toilet when no longer needed. Only flush drugs that indicate they are safe to be flushed!!
The FDA has a list of drugs that can be flushed on the FDA website and you can always double check.
For other drugs, try medication disposal kiosks at your local Walgreens. Check if they have a kiosk in your area using the Walgreens Store Locator.
A medication disposal kiosk is a lot like a mailbox. You bring your unused or expired medication and drop it in the slot at no cost to you. It is safe and convenient. The kiosks are available during regular pharmacy hours and you can use them to get rid of prescriptions, prescription and over the counter ointments and creams, liquids, lotions, pet medications, prescription patches, over-the-counter medications and vitamins.
Kiosks do not accept needles, inhalers, aerosol cans, thermometers, hydrogen peroxide, and illegal drugs.
C) Try community programs, like household hazardous waste collection events or medical waste disposal companies that will do a one-time pickup. We’ve compiled a couple of California drop off points for you.
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