How Do I Get Rid Of Excess Medication?

Around 70% or more of people using opioid analgesics for nonmedical reasons get pills from family or friends’ active prescriptions. To minimize the risk of creating additional dependencies, stick to specific strategies to dispose of medications safely. Whenever possible, prescription drugs should be given to a nearby reclaiming center mail-back program. In areas without mail back, patients should seek out the closest medication disposal area. Oftentimes, people can dispose of medication at a police station, a drug enforcement-approved drug store, or another pre-approved drop-box. While actively using the medication, experts suggest storing pills in a cool dark place, away from any household members struggling with addiction issues.

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1. Destroy the evidence

To get rid of medication, the initial line of defense is to bring unneeded prescriptions to a drug return site, location, or program as soon as possible. If a drop-off center is unavailable, flushing medication may be an option. As a general rule, any opioid or pill which can cause death if used inappropriately should be flushed immediately. If a medication is not risky or likely to cause harm to anyone in the household, patients should hold out to bring the unneeded supply to an approved return site.

2. Don’t forget your bathroom

A vast swath of people store medication in a bathroom cabinet, oftentimes above the sink. However, heat and dampness can degrade medication, making it unsuitable for consumption. For example, ibuprofen pills separate into vinegar and salicylic acid, leading to an upset stomach. A bathroom sink is not secure either, raising the possibility of abuse or relapse by specifically vulnerable household members. Minimize the possibility of damage by keeping all daily medicine in original containers, away from any humidity.

3. Keep it cool

When keeping prescriptions in the house, remember that heat, air, light, and dampness can all harm medication. To keep pills both safe and effective, store pills in a closet space or a cupboard far away from any heat or moisture source. In houses with pantries, a dark shelf can be a great option for medicine storage. Remember to remove cotton balls from any bottles since cotton accrues moisture quickly.

Less risk, more reward

When pills are no longer needed people start to consider the best way to dispose of extra medication. Drug return centers are the ideal option, with approved medical removal centers another key option. From chronic pain to recovering from surgery, prescriptions help many people live pain-free lives. However, medication must be managed properly to achieve the best results. To maximize effectiveness, all medication must be kept in a secure place, away from foot traffic and any source of moisture.


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