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How To Safely Manage Medicine At Home

The growing opioid epidemic is no joke. It is one of the top killers of people in America. Why is that? Generally, because of easy access.

Doctors can overprescribe painkillers to people, especially those with chronic pain. If they don’t use the painkillers as their doctors prescribed, then that can lead to dependence or overdose. It can be too easy to rely on them as a crutch.

Inversely there are those that were prescribed painkillers then never finished them. Those painkillers sit in their medicine cabinet collecting dust. They may forget about them. They may be parents who don’t even realize when their medicine is gone.

One of the most important parts about managing your medicine at home is making sure you know where it is. If it’s a prescription opioid drug, then it probably shouldn’t be in the open. It should be out of reach or out of sight of your children. It doesn’t matter their age.

This is because kids are quite likely to take them from a parent’s medicine cabinet. They may not realize what they’re getting into. Their friends might have suggested it. This is why it is important to know what to do with medicine you no longer need.

A surprising number of people don’t know how to dispose of medicine safely.

Many parents or others leave them lying around in easy access for others to snatch. You can get rid of medicines by throwing them away in the trash, especially after mixing them with dirt or anything.

Household Trash

If you can’t find any events or sites nearby, you can dispose of medicine in your trash. It is just important to follow a few simple rules. Otherwise, you could still be letting loose something dangerous into the world.

  • Mix up medicines with other substances. This can include dirt, cat litter, coffee grounds. Gross substances are better because people will avoid them.
  • Put them in a plastic bag and seal it up so no one can get into it and the contents.
  • Toss that baggie into your household trash. Don’t make it special or stand out.
  • Make sure to get rid of all your personal information on a prescription bottle. This means your name or doctor or other information.

Collection Sites

Sometimes there is medicine take back options where you can bring unused medicine to a collection site.

For permanent collection sites, they have to be DEA-Registered. That means they have to be official with the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Locally you may be able to find permanent collection sites in pharmacies, hospitals, and even law enforcement. Some collection sites may have programs to mail back the prescription bottles, like drop-boxes. This is so they can be safely gotten rid of.

The DEA also does periodic collection events. These are short term collection sites meant to encourage people to hand in unused medication.

Often local law enforcement has sponsored activities too. It is your job to pay attention and look for safe ways to manage your medications.