It is absolutely essential that you regularly assess what is in your medicine cabinet, making sure that all of your prescription medications are either properly stored or disposed of. Prescription medications, while a crucial aspect of treatment for those that truly need them, have the potential to be abused and misused – especially if you are sharing your household with adolescents. To ensure that only those who need the medications have access, it is pertinent that you store your prescriptions safely and dispose of them efficiently once you no longer need them.
Storing Medications Safely
When you are storing medications in your home, it is crucial that you store them safely, seeing as they may fall into the wrong hands otherwise – either accidentally or intentionally. Employ the following tips to store your medications safely.
- Try not to store medications in your bathroom medicine cabinet – not only is this the most obvious place for curious adolescents and young adults to look, but the humidity from the shower may affect the drugs
- Ask your prescribing physician if the medication you are taking has the potential for abuse – if it does, be sure you lock it up in between uses
- Always keep original bottles and instructions handy, in case you need to refer to them at a later date
- Clean out your cabinets and other storage devices regularly, checking to make sure nothing is missing and all expired prescriptions have been disposed of
- Never share your medications with anyone, no matter what
Safely Disposing of Old Medications
If you have rummaged through your drawers and cabinets and come up with several expired prescriptions, the next step is to properly dispose of them. To your shock and dismay, this does not merely mean throwing them in the garbage or flushing them down the toilet. Continue reading to find out how you can safely dispose of unused and expired medications.
- Most pharmacies, local law enforcement stations, and local government organizations offer pharmaceutical take-back programs, allowing for safe disposal of unused medications
- The FDA has only approved select few medications for flushing – check the list to ensure your pills can be flushed safely, and turn to another method if they cannot
- If there is no take-back program near you and your pills cannot safely be flushed, try the following method of safe disposal:
- Take your pills out of the bottle and destroy all identifying information
- Mix the pills with kitty litter or coffee grounds in a plastic baggie, making sure you do not crush the pills in the process
- Throw the bag out with your regular trash
Prescription medications save lives – but they also have the potential to destroy lives if they fall into the wrong hands. If you have any additional questions regarding safe disposal and storage techniques, please feel free to call one of our trained representatives today.