Ferdinand OS Focacceria Health Take Back Your Meds

Take Back Your Meds

Unused or expired medicine in your home can be dangerous to others and harmful to the environment. Drugs thrown in the trash can be retrieved and illegally sold or used by anyone, and medicines flushed down toilets can pollute rivers, lakes, and drinking water supplies.

The Drug Enforcement Administration hosts no-questions-asked National Prescription Drug takebackyourmeds Day twice a year and many communities host their own local events and programs. You can also find a collection site near you by using the DEA’s drug take-back locator.

Many retailers and hospitals have medication collection kiosks or offer prepaid mail-back envelopes. Check with your pharmacist for more information. Generally, most prescription and over-the-counter medicines in pills, liquids, gels, and ointments are accepted at drug take back sites. However, needles, inhalers, aerosol cans, hydrogen peroxide, thermometers and certain illegal drugs are not collected.

Prescription Perils: Why Proper Medication Disposal Matters

A few years ago, the county and Westchester Medical Center began a medication take-back program where residents could safely dispose of unwanted or expired medications at various locations throughout the community. This helped clear the cabinets of many homes and was an early success. Medications were returned for a variety of reasons. Most often it was the medication expiration date. Occasionally it was the decision to stop taking the medication due to side effects or lack of need without a professional recommendation. Other reasons included a change in prescriptions or a move to another residence. Despite the popularity of medication take-back events and programs, a larger issue remains: overprescribing. Health care professionals should continue to emphasize patient adherence and prescribers should consider more conservative quantities of medicines for patients.

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