Research has proven that almost three out of every four people who abuse prescription drugs had gotten them from a friend or family member who has a prescription. Most people have had unused prescription drugs leftover after being sick or in pain. This is typically true of people who are given painkillers, including some opioids because your doctor will usually prescribe you with more than you might need in case you cannot get back to them in time. This is a common occurrence and a big reason why so many people with drug addictions find ways to get their drugs.
Keeping Unused Prescription Drugs
While it can be very tempting to keep any pills that you didn’t use for a “just in case” moment, it can be dangerous. Leaving pills available in your home could put them at risk of being stolen by someone who shouldn’t be taking them. This can include children and drug addicts. According to data gathered by Blue Cross, almost 40 percent of people who are addicted to opioids didn’t have a prescription for themselves in more than four months. This means that most of them were getting their pills from someone else they know who has unused prescription drugs.
Properly Storing Your Prescriptions
When you are currently taking prescription medications, it is essential to make sure you store them properly. Where and how you save your medications determines whether they stay safe and effective to use before they meet their expiration date. When choosing a good spot to store your medications, first check the label on them to see if there are any instructions to follow with how it should be properly stored while used. Some need to be kept in your refrigerator and others may not. However, even those prescription medications that don’t require to be kept cold should still not be subjected to high temperatures.
Most people store their medications in their bathroom cabinets or the dresser drawers. However, when storing them in your bathroom, you might not realize that the humidity can affect the pills and leave them open to those who visit your bathroom easy access to them. Moisture can degrade certain medications and therefore might reduce how effective they are before they even expire. The best place to store all of your medications is somewhere out of sight, cool and dry. Stay away from bathrooms, sinks, and appliances that let off heat.
Taking Care of Unused, Unwanted or Expired Medications
Check the expiration dates on your medications regularly. This will help you to avoid accidentally taking some pills that have expired. Medicine bottles are labeled with clear instructions on how to store them, how to take them, and when they have reached their expiration. Never take a medication that has expired.
Reasons Not to Take Expired Medication
- Bacteria can grow on the pills because of aging.
- Time can change the chemical composition of pills.
- Loss of intended strength or ability to be potent.
- Failure to treat effectively can result in antibiotic resistance and failure to treat infections.
How to Properly Dispose of Your Unused Medications
As stated earlier, it is important to dispose of any medications that you are not using. This ensures that your leftover pills don’t get into the wrong hands and cause harm to someone else. There are many ways in which to dispose of any pills that you don’t want, need, or that have expired. To be a responsible person and user of prescription medications, you should always handle them with care. This also means that you take care of them properly once you are done taking any of your prescriptions.
Ways to Dispose of Your Prescription Drugs
There are many ways to get rid of unused prescriptions. One way is to take any unused pills to a local drop-off location in your city. Many cities host drug take-back days where people can turn in unused medicines they no longer want. You can search online to find places near you that offer daily drop-off locations as well. You can even drop off the medicine anonymously if you wish. Doing this will help you play your part in fighting the never-ending opioid epidemic going on in the country affecting millions of families. You can help keep drugs from ending up in the wrong hands by properly disposing of any of your unused prescription medications quickly.
Tips for Disposing of Medications in the Trash
- Scratch out any information on the pill bottles such as the name of the medication and personal information.
- Mix any unused pills with substances in your trash that are unappealing to most people such as coffee grounds, bathroom waste, and dirt.
- Place the unappealing mixture with the pills in a plastic bag that is sealed and hidden and then toss it in the trash.
If you would like more information about disposing of unused prescription drugs, please contact us today. We can also assist you in choosing the best addiction treatment program for yourself or a loved one who is struggling with drug abuse.