Let’s face it, you probably have a medicine cabinet full to the brim with those orange translucent pill bottles. The ones with the expiration date from the early 00’s that was given to you or a family member to help dull the pain from that surgery?
Most Americans have a type of procrastination when it comes to disposing of prescription drugs properly. The last place you set down the prescription bottle is usually where they stay, often for years! It is our natural inclination to keep something around because it may be useful later on. Especially if procuring a new prescription requires an inconvenience or cost. As a collective society, we don’t throw something away because it could be useful, but then immediately forget, because it has no current use. It is in these unattended medicine cabinets where people experimenting may happen upon what seems like an innocuous dose of medication but can become a life-altering addiction. It is also a place where people in active addiction can rummage through to support their dependence on drugs.
The DEA’s annual ‘Take Back Day’ is a bi-yearly program that was created as an addition to the “Controlled Substances Act.” It allows people to give old prescriptions back to law enforcement and community pharmacy’s with a ‘no questions asked’ system. It is designed to ensure that the public is properly disposing of expired or unused prescriptions. This program has successfully removed 475 tons of prescription drugs off of the market, They currently have over 6,000 drop off locations. To find your nearest location, check out these DEA ‘Take Back Day’ drop off locations. Though it may be an inconvenience, disposing of your unwanted prescriptions via a “Take Back” program is the best option to keep your loose prescriptions out of the hands of children
Too Far From A Drop Off Location?
For some, a drop off location is not the most convenient. Consider trying this method of disposing of your undesired prescriptions.
One popular method that is often characterized in TV shows and movies is to screw off the top and dump your unused prescriptions into the toilet. You should never dispose of your prescriptions into the plumbing system. Antidepressants, sedatives, antibiotics, painkillers and anti-cancer drugs, to name a few, can leach into the watershed affecting the local marine life. Marine life’s daily habitat, reproduction, growth, and development are all affected by medications that are flushed. It is a misconception that water treatment facilities and septic tanks can adequately filter out prescription contaminants. The best way of disposing of your unwanted prescriptions is a “Take Back” program. Make it your first and best option.