How Can You Dispose of Unused Prescription Medications?
The United States is in the midst of an opioid drug epidemic. In 2016, more than 63,600 people died of accidental drug overdoses. Of those deaths, two-thirds were attributed to prescription painkillers and opiates such as heroin. By some estimates, 65 percent of opioid medication overdoses were due to people taking unused medications prescribed to others.
To curb the epidemic, the proper disposal of opioid medications is important. This article will explain three major ways you can dispose of opioid medications in your home. If you or a loved one are struggling with prescription medications and need help, contact Comprehensive Wellness Centers toll-free today.
Opioid Disposal Kits
Recently, Walmart announced they would offer free opioid disposal kits that allow patients to safely dispose of their unused medications at home. The DisposeRx kit contains a powder that will turn medications into a biodegradable gel. These kits are included with refillable prescriptions and include a guide on ways to properly dispose of medications in the home. The kits are available at all Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacies nationwide.
Take Back Programs
Take-back programs are another effective way to dispose of unused prescription medications. These events are highly publicized throughout the community and give people a chance to bring unused opioid medications for safe disposal. With these events, local law enforcement is present to “take into custody” unwanted medications until they are picked up by authorized personnel.
Another similar program is permanent collection sites that are in or near law enforcement centers. These sites typically feature collection boxes that are placed outside of or in the lobby of a building. These sites are highly visible and have signage which is easy to read and clearly display instructions on disposal. Permanent collection sites are also easily accessible at various times throughout the day.
Safe Home Disposal
If you don’t have an opioid disposal kit or if there is no dedicated site to dispose of your medications, there is an easy way to do so at home. Simply mix all unused medications and mix them with kitty litter, dirt or other unpalatable items. Once mixed you can place in a sealed plastic bag and then throw in the household trash.
It is also highly advisable to scratch out or remove information from unused prescription vials or containers. No matter what method you use, be sure that personal information is unreadable so no one can use it to obtain more medication. If you have questions on how to dispose of medications properly, contact your pharmacy or experienced medical personnel.
Comprehensive Wellness Centers Can Help You Beat Addiction
When properly prescribed, opioid medications are an effective tool in treating illness and disease. However, these medications are often misused or abused and cause addiction. If you or a loved one need help with an addiction to prescribed medications, call Comprehensive Wellness Centers right now. Our experienced treatment staff employs a wide variety of therapies that can be tailored to meet your unique needs.
Start your road to sobriety today.
Medically Reviewed: September 25, 2019
All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.