Showing posts with label expired medications. Show all posts
Showing posts with label expired medications. Show all posts

Friday, September 28, 2012

Got Prescription Drugs? Get Rid of ‘em!

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day-September 29

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has scheduled a National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day This means that you can clean out your medicine cabinet with the assistance of the DEA (What is the DEA?).

To get rid of  unwanted, unused prescription drugs, simply go to your nearest designated collection site on Saturday, September 29, 2012. To find out more:
    safe disposal
    National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

  According to the DEA Enforcement, the last DEA-led National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on April 28th of this year resulted in a record-breaking 276 tons of unwanted or expired medications for safe disposal at the 5,659 take-back sites that were available in all 50 states and U.S. territories.  

With that kind of success, the DEA believes that many more medicine cabinets have yet to be cleaned out of unwanted and expired medicines. We hope that, for your own safety and that of your family or home visitors, you take advantage of this opportunity to safely clean out your medicine cabinet.

Resources for more information

Importance of the Drug Take Back Initiative

Most people would have trouble believing that they harbor dangerous drugs in their own homes. But if you are storing unused, leftover prescription drugs in your medicine cabinet, or even if you just don't monitor your medicine cabinet, you could run into some real problems.

Teen substance abuse is a growing problem and many teens report abusing the prescription and over the counter drugs they find right in their home medicine cabinets.

  • Teen substance abuse of methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin combined doesn't even come close to the number of teens abusing prescription drugs – the stuff they get right from their parents’ medicine cabinet – according to the White House Office of National Drug Control PolicyEvery day, 2,500 children between 12 and 17 years of age abuse a prescription painkiller for the first time.
  • Partnership for a Drug-Free America indicates that 10 percent of teenagers have abused common cough medicines such as Coricidin, dextromethorphan, or Robitussin by drinking the entire bottle’s contents or boiling down the medicine into a powder. The powder is sometimes added to other drugs, like Marijuana.

Partnership for a Drug Free America has tips for keeping you and your home safe.

"I have expired medications. They're not dangerous, right?"

In addition to the dangers of addiction when abusing prescribed narcotics, some expired medications could lose their potency. Expired prescription drugs can break down, especially if they are not stored in a dry place or in extreme temperatures. For example, many eye drops can develop harmful bacterial contamination that could harm you if you use them past their expiration date.

In addition to teen drug abuse, there is also an issue of elderly parents or grandparents using the wrong medication by mistake. Many elderly people suffer from dementia and could confuse their medications with those of family members. It's a good idea to make sure you only have what you need and what you are actually using in the medicine cabinet or drawer. This lowers the chance of a family member taking the wrong or expired drug.

Drug treatment admissions for prescription painkillers grew by greater than 300 percent in just five years (1995-2005), according to the Partnership for a Drug-Free America. 
medicine cabinets
Safe disposal of unused medication can prevent abuse or accidental dosage.

Many people flush medications down the toilet or throw them in the trash. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service warns that flushed drugs end up in lakes, streams and in our water supply harming fish, wildlife and their habitats.  Throwing medications in the garbage is risky because either children or pets can get into them before the trash is picked up. 

Rik Moxley
Contributing Writer