Cleaning Out Your Medicine Cabinet:
Properly Disposing of Expired or Unused Medications
We all have medicine that needs to be disposed of from time to time. Whether it is expired over the counter items from long years ago or medications left from a recent family member passing on, it’s important to know how to properly dispose of these medications. While there are a select few medications that can be washed down the sink, the majority should be disposed of in a different manner to protect our water supply from being contaminated. Here are the best ways to properly dispose of your unwanted medications:
Visit Your Local Pharmacy- Many local pharmacies can help assist you in proper drug disposal. Some pharmacies have drop boxes while others can give you valuable information on where to take medications when they are no longer needed. Always start here and check with your pharmacist to find out the proper ways to handle medications and their disposal.
Visit Your Local Law Enforcement Office- Local law enforcement has stepped up their efforts to help control medications and how they are disposed. Our local Sheriff’s Office has a medication drop box where you can drop off most of your medications. We are very thankful that they offer this valuable resource to our community and is one of the best options for safe disposal.
DEA Drug Take Back Days- The DEA in connection with the Kentucky State Police and Bowling Green Police host Drug Take Back Days several times a year to help collect unwanted medications. At the time of this writing, there have been no dates set for 2015, but we will announce on our Facebook page when these dates are published. During this event, the DEA will take back all of your unwanted medications, even strong pain killers that may be left over from a loved one’s passing. Since the start of this program, they have removed millions of pounds of unwanted medications and properly disposed of them.
I advise all of our patients that you should clean out your medicine cabinet at least once, if not twice, a year and dispose of unwanted or expired medicines. This will not only help keep you safe from accidentally taking them, but will also make it safer for children and our community. Take advantage of these great options when cleaning up around the house!
Your Family Pharmacist,
Samuel Warnell, Pharm D