How To Dispose of Unused Opioids And Medications Properly

April 20, 2018

Drug overdoses killed over 63,000 Americans in 2016 and 2/3 of these deaths were the result of a prescription or illicit opioid. Although new regulations are aiming to tighten the access to opioids, it appears our own medicine cabinets are to blame in large part.  A Mayo Clinic report found that 1 in three Americans never use all their pain medications prescribed after a surgery or procedure. In total, more than 60% of the drugs were never used by the patients and only 8% of them disposed of the drugs, which leaves these medications resting in our homes and potentially fueling the opioid epidemic. Last summer, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health revealed that nearly half of those that misused painkillers did not have a prescription of their own and got the drugs from friends or relatives with leftover pills. It may be a good idea to check your medications for pain killers and dispose of them properly.  While it may seem the safest way to dispose of pills is to flush them down the toilet.  That is the worst thing you can do.  Those medications end up in our water supply with many cities reporting detectible levels of many prescribed medications, including opioids. The DEA has a National Prescription Drug Take Back Day every April and October.  The next one is April 28th from 10am to 2pm at the Dunnellon, Ocala, Palatka, Lake City and Live Oak police departments as well as many other sheriff offices and National Guard locations [CLICK HERE FOR A COMPLETE LIST OF PARTICIPANTING AGENCIES]. You can also take unused any prescription medication is to take it back to the pharmacy.  Although they cannot compensate you for unused pills, pharmacies and hospitals can accept medications to be collected and disposed with harm to the environment or our water.

SOURCE: Daily Mail

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