Disposing Medicine: 5 Tips On How To Do It Properly

Medicines play an essential role in the general health of our society. With medicine, we can tackle simple illnesses without the need to go to the hospital. However, what happens when some of our medicine is no longer needed? Like when they get past their expiry date or the patient is cured? Of course, it would be unwise to use them, so the best course of action would be to dispose of them.

This brings us to the question of how to dispose of them properly. Most people would simply put them in the trash along with everything else or flush them down the toilet. However, that would be unwise and careless. There are proper methods and tips you should follow when it comes to disposing of your medicine. Here are some of them.

Do Not Flush Them

Flushing or draining medicine down the drain is a careless act that everyone should stop immediately. This is because the medicine will be dissolved through flushing and draining, and the water containing them would eventually go back to the sea or river or even be absorbed by the dirt.

It will eventually come to us through eating fish from the sea or plants grown from the dirt near the river. Of course, this doesn’t necessarily mean all medicine shouldn’t be flushed. Some medicines can be flushed, especially when it says so on the label. So unless the medicine’s label says so, do not flush or drain your medicine in your toilet and sink.

Drug Take Back Programs

Perhaps the best way to dispose of unused or expired medicine is through drug take-back programs. The organizations that regularly hold these programs have efficient ways of disposing of medicine without harming people and nature. Usually, drug take-back programs can be held by your local government and community.

These programs will give out boxes with instructions so you can put your unused and expired medicine inside the box with the proper packaging. You can then safely put these boxes along with other boxes in designated pick-up areas or the event area holding the program. If you don’t know when your community will have its next program, you can usually contact the US Drug Enforcement for drug take-back information.

Secure Them Appropriately

If your local community has no drug take-back programs soon, you can also put your unused medicine in your trash bins but with proper packaging. If you don’t know how to package them, mix your unused medicine with unpalatable substances like used coffee grounds, dirt, or even kitty litter.

This way, no one would reuse them when someone looks for them in the trash. Next, you can put them in a secure container like a sealed plastic bag. And lastly, if your medicine comes with bottles or packaging, you should scratch out personal information on the label so no one would know what it is for and how to use it. Once all that is done, you can put it along with your other trash.

Proper Disposal of Fentanyl Patches

A fentanyl patch is a type of medication that mainly consists of opioids. Opioids are a massive trigger for drug addicts, and they often look for them in the trash, seeking to score a free hit. However, when used without prescription or abused, it can be hazardous and even cause an overdose. So, how does this medicine work? Fentanyl patches are typically used by putting an adhesive patch on your skin.

Your skin would then absorb the medicine, relieving the patient of pain. However, even after the patch is used, a lot of the medicine is still left behind the patch, which is why it’s the most common medicine that junkies usually look out for in the trash. Thankfully, however, there are instructions on the label on how to dispose of them properly. You can typically flush them out in your toilet safely, along with the proper packaging.

Always Read the Instructions

Most medicines have labels that talk about instructions on properly disposing of them. For the most part, the typical way to dispose of them is to put them in a secure package and leave them in designated areas for pick up controlled by the local government. You could also drop them in pharmacies. Not only do big chain pharmacies are known to give huge discounts like BuzzRx prescription savings, they also have drug take-back programs.

They even give out boxes for disposal for people to use. However, it’s still important to read the label regarding disposal, especially with hazardous medicines like opioids and inhalers. They have their unique way of disposal, so reading them is always a must if you want to avoid potential dangers to you and to your family.

Final Words

Expired and unused medicine should always be disposed of properly. It’s important since it keeps your family and their surroundings safe from harmful chemicals that these medicines bring. Thankfully, there are usually instructions on how to dispose of them properly, so always read those before carefully getting rid of them.