Proper Medication Disposal Techniques to Prevent Abuse
We know that getting the right medication is key to living a happy and healthy life. Having the right medication can prevent pain and illness so that you can focus on the things that matter most in life like family and friends, especially around the holiday season. It is important to know proper medication disposal techniques when you do have your prescriptions in order to make sure you prevent abuse in yourself and those around you. Also, there are things you can to do help protect the environment.
Proper Medication Disposal Ideas to Prevent Them Getting Into the Wrong Hands
Imagine this scenario: You have been prescribed a powerful prescription painkiller for a recent minor surgery. Prescription pain pills are in the opioid family, which can be extremely addicting if they are not taken with caution. You have your family come over for Thanksgiving, with a niece who has recently been experimenting with drugs and alcohol. She finds your pills, takes them without you realizing it, and develops an opiate addiction.
That is not a scenario anyone wants to find themselves in. There are some simple things you can do to avoid it altogether.
- Check to see if the medication comes with disposal guidelines.
- Remove the drugs from their container and mix them with something like kitty litter, dirt, or coffee grounds so that people are less likely to find them in the trash.
- Remove identifying information on the drug container so that it is unreadable to help protect your privacy.
- Never give your medication to friends. In many cases, it is actually illegal to do so because the drug is prescribed for your specific needs and can do great harm to others.
- Only throw medication in the toilet or down the sink if it has specific instructions to do so.
- You can always call your doctor or pharmacy if you are still uncertain about how to get rid of your medication. They will be able to help you.
Concerns Regarding Medication Disposal and the Environment
It’s a fact that certain medications can cause a problem if they end up in the sewage system. Trace levels of certain medications have been discovered in bodies of water around the U.S., and clearly drinking water is a concern. The fact of the matter is that the main way medication is finding its way there is by naturally flushing out of people’s bodies. The FDA has reviewed drug labels to add disposal labels to the ones that need it to help keep us and our environment safe, and they continue to update this information right on their website.
Being vigilant about your medication is the most important thing you can do. If you are prescribed a medication with addictive qualities, practice extreme caution when taking it and disposing of it. As always, the more you know about it, the better you will be!