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The Importance of Prescription Drug Disposal

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The Importance of Prescription Drug Disposal

Research has found that most misused prescription medications are attained from family and friends. In light of this fact, agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) have been searching for ways to reduce drug diversion among close friends and relatives. Prescription drug disposal

One response to the opioid epidemic is Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, a biannual event that occurs at the end of April and October each year. The day offers a chance for people to safely dispose of prescription drugs rather than risk diversion or flush them, which environmentalists believe may be adversely affecting fish, wildlife, and even human health.

Other Methods of Prescription Drug Disposal

The FDA researched the possible risks of flushing prescription drugs using more than two dozen medications. The agency found that the risks to humans and the environment are minor when compared to the dangers that result from consumption of these drugs.

Flushing does ensure that hazardous medications are inaccessible to humans and their pets. This method, however, should only be used if a more environmentally-friendly take-back location or program is currently unavailable.

Prescription drug disposal via trash can be carried out with little risk, but extra safeguards are needed to ensure they are not accessible to living creatures. Moreover, desperate addicts will often unabashedly dig through trash if they believe they can find drugs. If you use this means of disposal, mix the medication with something abhorrent such as cat litter, and seal it in a baggie to prevent leaks.

The Ideal Method of Disposing of Leftover RX Medication

Researchers and scientists contend that the safest method of drug disposal is through a take-back program. Such programs are carefully monitored to prevent drug diversion.

Also, relinquishing RX drugs to a registered DEA collector, such as collection sites located in pharmacies, hospitals, law enforcement, etc. is considered safe and eliminates the possibility of diversion to others.

Some prescription drug packaging includes instructions for disposal, which patients should follow precisely. A list of medications that have been approved for flushing as a means of disposal can be found on the FDA’s website.

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If you or someone you love is abusing substances, please seek treatment as soon as possible. There are many resources available to help you or your loved one.

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~ Natalee G. Serrels, M.A., Psychology