From Medicine Cabinet to Trash Can: How to Dispose of Medications
Pharmaceuticals are becoming increasingly common in America. With roughly 70% of individuals taking at least one prescription drug on a regular basis, it’s important that you understand how to properly dispose of any unused or leftover drugs. Simply throwing them away isn’t safe, as it allows others access to medications that may cause them harm. So how do you throw pharmaceuticals in a proper way? Here’s what you need to know.
Storing Your Medications
Medicinal safety doesn’t start when you need to throw away pharmaceuticals, it starts when you bring them into the home. Medication can easily be abused, even accidentally. Always keep your medications locked up and out of sight, especially if you have children in the home. Consider purchasing a small safe or lockbox, or simply store them on the highest shelf in your cabinet where your children can’t reach them. This will help reduce the risk of someone ingesting your mediation who wasn’t prescribed its use.
Disposing Of Your Pharmaceuticals
When the time comes to dispose of your pharmaceuticals, there are several ways that you can properly discard your medication according to New York regulations.
Find A Free Collection Site
There are free drug collection sites everywhere that allow you to drop off your unused medication to be properly disposed of. Use this guide to find a site near you!
Call Your Municipality
Your municipality may offer household pharmaceutical collections through local or state law enforcement agencies. While most only collect hazardous waste, it’s worth asking to see if they take pharmaceuticals as well.
Mark Your Calendar For Drug Take-Back Day
A twice-annual event in New York, drug take-back day takes place in April and October. During this time the Drug Enforcement Agency sets up locations to accept unused pharmaceuticals from the community.
Take Them Back To Your Pharmacy
The easiest way to correctly dispose of your pharmaceuticals is to simply take them back to the pharmacy. Simply let them know that your medication is either expired, unneeded, or unused and they will safely dispose of it for you.
Throw Them Away (Correctly)
If you have no other options, you can throw away your pharmaceuticals by mixing them with an unwanted substance such as dirt or cat litter. Then seal them in a plastic bag and throw them away. Never flush your medication down the drain. Water treatment facilities can’t always get the medication out of the water, and you run the risk of contaminating the water in your area.
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