Family Health, Your Health Tamar Raucher | 6 years ago

Should You Flush or Toss Those Old Meds?

We’ve all faced the dilemma of how to properly dispose of unused medication – whether over-the-counter pills and liquids, or prescription drugs. Unfortunately, tossing them in the trash or, worse, into the toilet, is a bad move.

A lot of nasty things these days are polluting our water supply. Getting little attention is how the improper disposal of medications is contributing to that pollution. Testing in 2008 found drug residue in the drinking water of 24 major metropolitan areas in the US, serving 41 million people. So How Do You Properly Dispose of Medicines? thumbsdown Don’t flush expired or unwanted prescription and over-the-counter drugs down the toilet. thumbsdown Don’t pour medications in the drain. thumbsdown Don’t throw your medications in the trash without following proper disposal steps (conveniently included below).   thumbsup Do participate in a medicine take-back program. Check the list of take-back events scheduled in North Carolina, or find a medicine drop-off location closest to you. thumbsup Do take your unwanted prescription drugs out of their original containers and mix them with cat litter or used coffee grounds. Put the mixture into a sealed plastic bag and place in the trash. thumbsup Do remove or conceal any personal information, including the Rx number on the empty containers before placing them in the trash.   If you’re still unsure of how to dispose of medication, talk to your pharmacist, or visit the US Food and Drug Administration’s website.