Submitted by Ryan Wille, B.S.
Community Health Educator
SAFE STORAGE & DISPOSAL OF MEDICINE
Prescription medicines are an important treatment option that many people depend upon. These medicines help to treat a vast number of diseases and provide a better quality of life for patients. However, if these medicines are abused it could lead to very serious medical problems. According to the Federal Drug Abuse Warning Network, emergency room visits due to abuse of prescription drugs are greater than the number of visits due to abuse of marijuana and heroin combined. It is also reported that 1.5 million American kids have reported they have abused prescription drugs.
It is extremely important for these medicines to be safely stored and disposed of! This will prevent accidental abuse by patients and abuse by other individuals who the medicines aren’t prescribed for.
Safety Tips For Storing & Using Medications Include:
- Keep your medicines separate from those of other family members. This will decrease the chances of taking the wrong medication.
- Take medication in areas with good lighting to make sure that you are taking the right medicine and never take medicines in the dark.
- Keep the medicines in the bottle that they came in. The amber color of bottle protects medicine from light and all the medication’s information is on the bottle in case you need it.
- Never mix different medicines in the same bottle.
- Always keep the lids on your bottles tightly closed.
- If there is cotton in the pill bottle when you first open it, remove it and throw it away. The cotton can absorb moisture and affect the medicine that is inside.
The Federal Guidelines For Prescription Medicine Disposal Encourage Individuals To:
- Take unused, unneeded, or expired prescription drugs out of their original containers and throw them in the trash.
- Mixing prescription drugs with undesirable substances will ensure the drugs are not diverted. The substances include coffee grounds, kitty litter, empty cans or sealable bags.
- Only flush prescription medications down the toilet if the label or accompanying patient information specifically instructs doing so.
- Take advantage of community pharmaceutical take-back programs or community solid waste programs. These programs are a good way to dispose of unused pharmaceuticals.
There is a Prescription Drug Disposal Day scheduled for Fulton, Hamilton and Montgomery Counties on April 28, 2012 from 10 a.m. -2 p.m. Below is a list of the disposal sites for each county:
- Johnstown City Police Department – 41 E. Main Street, Johnstown
- Gloversville City Police Department – 3 Frontage Road, Gloversville
- Lane Emporium – Corner of Routes 30 & 8, Speculator
- Inlet Police Department – 160 Route 28, Inlet
- Montgomery County Sherriff – 200 Clark Drive, Fultonville
- Canajoharie Police Department – 75 Erie Boulevard, Canajoharie
- St. Johnsville Police Department – 16 Washington Street, St. Johnsville
- Fort Plain Police Department – 168 Canal Street, Fort Plain
- Amsterdam Police Department – Guy Park Avenue Ext, Amsterdam
For more information, contact your health care provider or HealthLink Littauer at 736-1120. You can e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, see our website at www.nlh.org, or visit our wellness center at 213 Harrison Street Ext. in Johnstown, Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. We’re your community health & wellness service of Nathan Littauer Hospital and Nursing Home.