If you’re like the average American, the majority of prescription meds you have in your house are likely not even being used—two out of every three bottles are just taking up space, a study published in Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy found.
And when it is time to do some spring cleaning, people aren’t exactly disposing of the drugs in the safest way: Sixty-three percent of people put them in garbage, 18 percent flush them down the toilet, and 4 percent pour them down the sink.
Bad choice: Simply tossing them can make them vulnerable to misuse by others, and flushing them can allow the meds to seep into the groundwater or pass through water treatment systems. These plants are generally unequipped to routinely remove meds from the water, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says. That means the meds can end up in our drinking water.Thankfully, though, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is giving you an easy solution: National Drug Take Back Day, which occurs April 29 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. This gives you a convenient place to safely discard your unwanted meds.
Last year, the DEA collected nearly 900,000 pounds of unused prescription meds at nearly 5,400 sites throughout the country.
To find a drop-off site near you this Saturday, simply plug in your zip code in the DEA’s National Take Back Initiative Collection Site Search.
Source: National Drug Take Back Day