PARISH HEALTH MINISTRY
PROPER DISPOSAL OF PRESCRIPTION MEDICATION
Recently, an investigation showed that trace amounts of drugs were found in the water supply of major cities in the United States. The drugs identified included common over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen, prescribed heart medication, anti-seizure medications, anxiety drugs and antibiotics. Maybe this is why deer won’t get out of my way on my way home – they’re too sedated from the water. Though concentrations of these drugs in our water are quite small, and we currently do not believe they have impact on human health, there is some evidence that they are affecting the ecosystem. The truth is we do not exactly know what effects these medications may be having, but being green means thinking about the best way to properly dispose of things such as leftover medications that could adversely affect the environment. With that in mind, here are some tips on how to dispose of medications in a way that limits your impact:
DO NOT FLUSH MEDICATIONS DOWN THE TOILET.
Most medications should not be tossed down the toilet. Do not flush any pills down the toilet.
Pour liquid medication or pills (that you have crushed first) into a sealable plastic bag or an empty can. For pills add soda to start dissolving them. For liquids, add a substance like inedible kitty litter, sawdust, dirt, cayenne pepper or used coffee grounds to make the medication less appealing to kids and pets. Close the container and secure it with duct tape or packing tape. Seal the container to prevent the medication from leaking or breaking out of the garbage bag and put it in the trash. Do not put in the recycle bin.
Before recycling or throwing away you empty medication containers, remove the prescription label or any personal information.
Call your local pharmacy to find out if they can send discarded medications to a registered disposal company.
DO NOT GIVE DRUGS TO ANYONE ELSE.
DO NOT FLUSH DRUGS DOWN THE TOILET.
DO NOT PUT DRUGS IN THE TRASH WITHOUT DISGUISING THEM; HUMAN OR ANIMAL SCAVENGERS MAY FIND THEM AND MISUSE THEM.