• The Right Way To Throw Away Unused Drugs & Medicine

    As we discuss the importance of substance abuse and misuse in our local communities, it is important to also consider the effect that improper disposal of unused drugs has on the environment. Both issues, environmental and substance abuse, ultimately impact all of our communities. Here’s how:

    1. Substance Abuse High Risks. Many prescription drugs dispensed are never used, leaving most people with several bottles of unused drugs in their homes. At-home, over the counter and prescription drugs are one of the most abused substances among teens and young adults. Drug use has increased over the last year, so clearing out unused medications helps to decrease access to these drugs in our community.
    2. Surface Water Contamination. As many as 100 different pharmaceuticals have been found in surface water, so disposing of medications properly is essential. Common household drugs include blood thinners, antibiotics, acetaminophen, and aspirin. Surface water makes its way into plants, parks, and residential areas affecting wildlife.
    3. Drinking Water Contamination. Flushing medications or putting them down the drain is not an appropriate means of disposal. These medications cannot be completely treated at the wastewater treatment plants and some substances remain in our drinking water and waterways.
    4. Poisoning and/or death. Having unused medications in your home puts children, teens, young adults and pets at risk for accidently or intentional overdoses or death.
    5. River & Stream Contamination. Contamination has been found in rivers and streams which can disturb our waterways and can cause death of fish and other living creatures.

    As you can see, it is very important that unused drugs are promptly and safely disposed of to prevent both environmental and substance abuse. 

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