Do you have old medications lingering around in your home’s medicine cabinets? You should make every effort to remove them from your home right away.
If you allow old medications to hang around, there is a chance a friend or family member could go through your medicine cabinets and steal them. There is also a chance a child could get their hands on the medications and take them.
That’s why it’s so important for you to get rid of old medications immediately. But at the same time, it’s important to know how to dispose of medication the right way.
Just about the last thing you want to do is flush old medications down the toilet. It could potentially cause all kinds of problems if you choose to take that approach.
Here are a few ways to safely dispose of medication that you don’t need anymore.
Look For Drug Take-Back Events in Your Area
The easiest way to dispose of old medications is by tracking down a drug take-back event in your area. Depending on where you live, there’s a good chance that there is at least one event like this every year.
During drug take-back events, organizers welcome people to bring their old prescription drugs so that they can be disposed of safely. These events often take place in temporary sites and are designed to teach people about the dangers of hanging on to medications for too long.
Is there a drug take-back event in your area sometime soon? If so, you should lock your medications up in a safe for now so that no one can get to them. Then, you should bring them down to the event on the day it’s scheduled to take place so that you don’t have to worry about the drugs falling into the wrong hands anymore.
You can learn more about what these events are like before attending one so that you know what to expect when you show up.
See If There Are Any Permanent Medication Collection Sites Nearby
The safe disposal of medications has turned into such a big issue that there are more and more permanent medication collection sites popping up all across the U.S. and different parts of Canada. You can find these sites in:
- Police stations
- Other medical facilities
- And more
If you have a site like this in your area, it’s probably the best possible place for you to dispose of your old medications. Collectors will come around and scoop up medications from these sites every so often and make sure they’re disposed of properly.
Call Local Police to See What They Would Recommend
Your local police don’t want you to have old, unused medications sitting around in your home. It’s basically an invitation for trouble, especially if those medications end up going missing.
Therefore, many police stations will lend a hand if you’re looking for a safe place to drop off unused medications. In some cases, they might tell you about a drug take-back event in your area. In others, they might direct you to a permanent medication collection site.
There are even some police stations that will volunteer to take your old medications off your hands to get them off the streets. But whatever the case, police should, at the very least, be able to tell you how to find a place that will accept your old medications.
Ask Your Pharmacist How to Dispose of Medication
If you take medications on a fairly regular basis, you might be on a first-name basis with your pharmacist. If you are, you should use that to your advantage as far as disposing of old medications goes.
Your pharmacist likely knows some of the simplest ways to dispose of medications in your city of town. They might be able to tell you about an upcoming drug take-back event or point you in the direction of a permanent medication collection site.
They might even have a place where you can dispose of old medications right inside their pharmacy. This would be very convenient for you since you’re taking regular trips to the pharmacy anyway.
Flush Old Medications Down the Toilet Under Certain Conditions
Under normal circumstances, you should never, ever flush old medications down the toilet in your home. By doing it, you might pollute the local waterways and do other damage to the environment.
There are, however, certain instances in which you should consider flushing your medications down the toilet.
For example, the directions on the side of an old medication may instruct you to flush your medication if you’re not able to take it to a drug take-back event or a permanent medication collection site right away. Directions like these are often reserved for especially dangerous drugs.
If the directions tell you to do that, don’t ignore them. Flushing your old medication down the toilet could very well be your only option.
But otherwise, flushing your old medications down the toilet should really only be done as an absolute last resort. You could do more harm than good if you flush many kinds of medication down the toilet.
Whatever You Do, Don’t Let Old Medications Linger For Long!
Now that you know how to dispose of medication, you should start doing it as soon as you either don’t need a medication anymore or realize it has expired. There is no sense in letting medications linger around any longer than they have to.
You can bring just about any medication you want to a drug take-back event. From prescriptions you didn’t finish to over-the-counter medicines you don’t like to use anymore, you should get into the habit of clearing out your medicine cabinet early and often.
By doing it, you’ll reduce the amount of clutter you have hanging around your home. You’ll also keep those around you significantly safer and stop a loved one from potentially developing an addiction to your old medications.
Would you like to keep yourself healthier without relying on medications? Read our blog to see how it’s done.