Medicine Disposal: The Importance of Drug Disposal Programs

Medicine Disposal

Have your prescription medicines expired? Do you not require them anymore? Then you should dispose them by the FDA and state recommended method. Medicines that are not in the use pose a serious threat to the people who come into contact with them. Children in particular are most susceptible towards ingesting harmful drugs. Read this blog to find out the importance of drug disposal programs.

Accidental Medication Exposure Problem

In the USA, exposure to unused medication is one of the leading causes of unintended poisonings. The pediatric exposure to elderly medication is more common. This is because children find the colorful pills attractive and their psychology prompts them to swallow it. While kids will keep any medicine within their range in their mouths, teens seek opioid prescriptions. Opioids overdose is also a serious concern. Prescription opioids was the cause of more than half of the 28,000 deaths that took place in the USA in 2014. Vulnerable teenagers and adolescents may attempt suicide with the drugs left behind accidentally. Drug disposal programs are extremely important to control the opioid epidemic faced nationwide.

An adult can also take the pills that are already expired, which may have side effects. Some people are more sensitive to certain drugs, which are exorbitantly toxic for them.

Category of Drugs That Are the Most Lethal

Whilst the presence of all sorts of unused medicines is dangerous, there are certain lethal ones that may even cause death. Cardiovascular drugs, stimulants, diabetes medications, sleeping pills, sedatives, opioids, and drugs containing acetaminophen are the most dangerous. The first step towards prevent drug poisoning is to store all medicines beyond the reach of the children until disposal. Secondly, you should also ask the visitors to be extremely cautious with their prescription medicines around the house.

Drug Take Back Programs

It is our responsibility to prevent unnecessary health risks in our homes by keeping expired drugs and prescription medicines that are no longer in our use. Drug take back programs are the best way to get rid of the prescription drugs safely. Law enforcement agencies in certain states also facilitate this program. The State of North Dakota has an eco-friendly drug disposal program that enables the residents to safely dispose unused and expired medicines. The drugs collected are then disposed in a way that doesn’t cause water contamination.  There are various drop-off locations for controlled-substances and prescription medications in North Dakota in the lobbies of the police departments participating in the program as well as the participating local pharmacies.

FDA also organizes “National Drug Take Back Day” once a year. This program has been running since 2010. There are drug disposal sites in localities spread all across the United where people can come and dispose over the counter medicines. Apart from the year-round program, North Dakota also has “Take Back Day” to reinstate the importance of disposal of the over the counter prescription medicines and unused drugs. Approximately 15720 pounds of drugs have been disposed since the state of North Dakota initiated the program in 2009.