Is Your Trash Medicated?


These days there is definitely a push towards pharmacy "take-back" programs for expired and unused medications.  I truly appreciate that more and more people want to do the right thing with their left over medications.   

We really do not want to have a drawer or two of old medications piled in on top of one another in our kitchen or dining room.  Situations where this type of a medication hazard has accumulated really need to be cleaned up to help prevent some sort of medication mis-adventure.   That said, the last thing anyone wants is our old medications leaching into the ground and ending up in our water supply. 

This concern or contamination has led to pharmacy take-back programs where you can take your medications into a pharmacy and deposit them into a mail box type container where the meds are picked up on a routine schedule and transported to a distant location where they are then incinerated.  Not all pharmacies participate in take-back programs because the process has yet to be standardized under state and/or federal pharmacy regulation. 

In fact, the trend may be moving back to disposing expired and unused medications in the trash.  A recent study by The University of Michigan Department of Engineering shows that disposing of medications in the trash actually has less of an impact on the environment than taking your old medications to a take-back program.  Take a moment to read this article, it really is quite interesting.


Until further notice, I will describe the current recommendations for disposal of your old, expired and unused medications.

Please, do not give your expired medications to anyone else to take, especially if it is a prescription medication.   It is against federal law to share prescription medication.  An individual needs to be evaluated by a health care practitioner and prescribed a medication before they may legally take a prescription medication.  

Please do not flush your medications down the toilet.   Check with your local pharmacy or your waste management program to see if there is a medication take-back program available.

If there is no medication take-back program available, then you may take the medications and put them in a container such as a zip lock bag. Mix in something unpalatable such as kitty litter or coffee grounds then add a little water to the mixture. Now, take the container and put it in a brown paper bag and put it in the garbage.

Thanks,
Steve
www.audiblerx.com

 
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