Do you keep prescription drugs in your medicine cabinet? Of course you do. Do you know that teens and other family members find many of the drugs that they abuse in their parents’ or grandparents’ medicine cabinets? You need to know that Saturday is National Drug Take-Back Day!
Do you keep outdated and unused prescription drugs in your medicine cabinet? If you do, this week is your time to clean out medicine cabinets, night stands, travel kits and any other places where expired or unwanted prescription drugs may have accumulated.
The Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is Saturday, September 29. Anytime between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. you may deliver your unwanted prescription drugs to a participating police department or other drop-site location. For a location in your neighborhood, please check out the DEA website for Houston-area locations and their addresses.
It’s important to keep our medicine cabinets tidy for many reasons:
- Outdated drugs may cause severe reactions.
- Outdated drugs may not have the potency required for your medical condition.
- Drugs intended for one specific condition may not be appropriate for “similar” symptoms and should not be taken without a physician’s approval.
- Potent drugs should not be readily available to other family members who could misuse and abuse the prescriptions.
- Too many drugs in the medicine cabinet can cause “look-alike” or “sound-alike” issues where the wrong medication is mistaken for a similar prescription.
Decades ago we were instructed to flush medications down the toilet, but this is no longer recommended due to water contamination concerns. And, the old advice to mix medications with kitchen garbage, kitty litter or cigarette ashes is no longer recommended because medications can leach into our soil and present groundwater contamination issues.
The DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day offers the safest method of disposing of outdated or no longer needed medications. The program has collected more than 770 tons of unwanted or expired medications since the program initiated four years ago.
So, clean out your drawers, cabinets, purses, auto consoles, and suitcases to that you may help protect family members and others from misusing or abusing prescription drugs. Just because a doctor wrote the prescription does not mean those drugs are safe for anyone, anytime!
How do you dispose of unwanted medications? Have you participated in one of the prior National Drug Take-Back Days?