A lot of people keep their unused medication on hand just in case something comes up and they need it later, but according to the DEA that is actually very dangerous:
Unused medications in homes create a public health and safety concern, because they are highly susceptible to accidental ingestion, theft, misuse, and abuse. Almost twice as many Americans (6.8 million) currently abuse pharmaceutical controlled substances than the number of those using cocaine, hallucinogens, heroin, and inhalants combined, according to the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
As you can see, it is very dangerous and irresponsible to keep unused medications laying around.
Healthcare practitioners get a lot of medication samples every year, and they start adding up quickly. These samples are usually kept in a dedicated sample closet that just keeps filling up day in and day out. Some practitioners actually will start filling up another closet with samples before discarding them!
A very effective way to make sure you don’t have to do that is to go through and properly discard the expired samples. This way you don’t have to keep filling up closets that could be used for other more important things.
What Shouldn’t I Do with Expired Pharmaceuticals?
You Should NEVER Flush Medication Down the Drain
Why? Because a lot of it ends up in our drinking water, our lakes, and even our oceans! According to the University of Illinois medications such as antibiotics, anti-depressants, steroids, painkillers and more are being detected in our water which is causing behavioral changes in many of our aquatic animals.
If You Planned to Throw Them Away, I Have Bad News
Throwing the medications in the trash is just as bad if not worse than flushing them. Not only do they leak into our water system through landfills, but people and animals can get a hold of them and get very sick or overdose.
It Can Actually Be Illegal to Put Them in a Sharps Container or Biohazard Bag
Some medications are actually illegal to wrongfully dispose of. These include controlled substances such as ADHD medications, pain medications, anti-anxiety medications and steroids. According to the Controlled Substances Act people who wrongfully dispose of controlled substances may face civil penalties involving fines.
And again, sharps and biohazardous waste eventually ends up in a landfill which will leak the medication into our water supply as mentioned above.
How Do You Dispose of Old Medication?
- Acquire pharmaceutical disposal container.
- Fill the container with old or unused medications.
- Fill out Controlled Inventory Transfer Form
- Mail the bucket back using our free return shipping label.
- Receive a certification of disposal and a new medication disposal bucket!
If you need a cost effective and fully compliant pharmaceutical mail back program, we have you covered! Check out our easy to use page where we allow on site purchasing of our mail back program.