The problem of unused medications – their safety issues and solutions

This represents a short series I’ve written on this critical problem.

Unused medications have made it into almost every US waterway, putting Americans at risk

Unused medications have made it into almost every US waterway, putting Americans at risk

More Americans are faced with a growing problem: what to do with expired, unused or unwanted medications.

The common practice of tossing pills in the trash or flushing them down the toilet has led to an increase in drinking water contaminated by prescription drugs of all kinds, including mood stabilizers, hormones and antibiotics. An Associated Press investigation in 2008 found that 51 million Americans’ drinking water was affected.

There’s also the problem of children and others finding the tossed pills and ingesting them.

For more on this article, see http://bit.ly/9juxAM.

There are a number of safe methods that you can use to safely dispose of medications, none of which include flushing down the drain or tossing in the trashcan.

Unused meds 1Some of these include:

  • Crush medication, dilute in a small amount of water, mix with kitty litter or coffee grounds
  • Call your pharmacist to find out disposal options.
  • Go to www.disposemymeds.org to find a pharmacy that will take back medications or provide information on how to do so.

There are also new “kits”  available to help consumers safely dispose of unused medications. For more on this, see: http://bit.ly/diliZT.

 With the growing concern about protecting the earth, responsible disposal of unused medications is one real way we each can help.

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