A warning for families – the unused medication in your cabinet could become a medical nightmare.
The CDC estimates more than 70,000 children are rushed to hospital emergency rooms every year due to accidental poisoning or overdose from prescription medications. Unused medicines can also lead to a path of devastating drug addiction – teens are using narcotic pain medications for recreational purposes. Pill Parties are a new alarming trend where teens bring prescription pills from their home to parties for their friends to enjoy.
- It is important to make sure medicines are secure and disposed of properly when no longer needed.
- Flushing medicine down the toilet or drain can have harsh effects on the environment when some of the harmful compounds pass into the water table and become hazardous to humans and animals. Some communities offer a drug take-back program.
- Contact your household trash service to see if a program is available in your community.
- There are new products available to help safely dispose of medications. The Pill Terminator, for example, is a safe, easy, and affordable way to eliminate unwanted medicines. Only the size of a soda can, the Pill Terminator serves to reduce this risk by rendering the prescription drugs unpalatable and the pills, syrup, capsules, or suspension can be safely discarded in the household trash.
- By simply depositing the unwanted medicine, adding water and shaking the container, you will safely and effectively destroy the medication.
- When in doubt about proper disposal, talk to your pharmacist. If unused medicines have to be stored in the home, be sure they are secure so that children and teens can not get to them.
Prevent accidental poisoning or overdose from prescription medications and other unsecured medicines by making sure they are in a locked cabinet and disposed of properly.