National Recovery Month: Safe Storage & Disposal
September 22, 2020
September is Recovery Month! Today in the United States, over 2 million Americans are addicted to prescription and non-prescription opioids. More than 130 American’s die every single day from an opioid overdose. That means an American dies every 12 minutes from an overdose of opioids. I hope that one day that statistic is rewritten to read “every 12 minutes, an American enters recovery from substance use disorder.”
So, what can YOU do to combat the opioid epidemic, and help those striving to reach long term recovery?
One simple way that you can help is by practicing responsible prescription ownership, by:
1) Locking up medications to prevent accidental poisoning of young children or access by those who may abuse them.
2) Safely disposing of unused or expired medications.
3) Never sharing medications or giving them to anyone other than for whom the medication is prescribed.
More than 2/3 of patients have leftover medication after surgery and few safely store or dispose of them. This is most often due to a lack of knowledge of HOW to properly and safely dispose of these medications.
When looking to safely dispose of medications, you have a few options:
OPTION 1: Take your medicine to a safe disposal location.
This is ALWAYS the best & safest option! To find a safe disposal location near you, use the link below: https://www.fda.gov/drugs/disposal-unused-medicines-what-you-should-know/drug-disposal-drug-take-back-locations#PermanentCollectionSites
OPTION 2: Dispose of medications at home.
But what if you don’t have access to a disposal location? There are options to dispose of medications at home, but ONLY if you are not able to access a safe disposal location. SOME (but not all) medications can be flushed down the toilet, but check the FDA flush list first. OTHERS can be disposed of in the trash after following certain precautions! There are also DRUG DEACTIVATION tools like Deterra bags which inactivate medications, allowing you to throw them in your trash without concern.
Check out https://www.fda.gov/drugs/safe-disposal-medicines/disposal-unused-medicines-what-you-should-know for full instructions on disposing of your medications, including the FDS flush list!
Buy Deterra Bags HERE: https://www.amazon.com/Deterra-LP-Pack-Deactivation-Disposal/dp/B01N5SQPL9
Now it’s your turn! Take a moment this week to go through your medicine cabinet, pull out old medications that you’re not using, and safely dispose of them! Do you have an older adult in your life with a cabinet full of unused medicines? Help them too! Your time spent will help keep your family and community safe.