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National Prescription Drug Take Back Day



The first National Prescription Drug Take Back Day was held on September 25, 2010.  The goal was to provide a safe and responsible way of disposing prescription medications.  It was so effective that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the program that oversees this program, expanded the initiative.  It is currently held twice each year; once in October and again in April.  The next event is scheduled for Saturday, October 28, 2017.  The program also provides a variety of education to help the general public with all things regarding prescription drugs.

Prescription Meds

If you are among the millions of people with expired prescription medications, this Initiative should be of interest to you.  This program also provides an environmentally supportive setting for avoiding the inappropriate discarding of unused prescription medications.

Do you have children in your household or visitors?  Some prescription medications lose their effectiveness after two years or more.  Do you know if all prescription medications in your house are current or past their expiration dates?  Long past those dates?  You take a terrible chance by assuming those meds did lose their effectiveness and taking more than the prescribed amount.  And, why would you do that?  Is it worth the life of your children or visitors?  The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day program solves those issues.  Many prescription medications have a long laundry list of side effects.

An article in a newsletter from Acupuncture discussed the complex subject of drugs.  The article says that Chinese herbs have been used for many years with great success to help people with addictions.  Different drugs have different negative effects on our bodies, its organ systems, relative yin and yang and the body’s qi.  In my [the author’s] experience, I have found that the psychological component is as important as the physical one.  Chinese medicine has many modalities.  It can help people recover from addictions, provided there is a genuine desire to recover and getting the needed support.

In 2010, the CDC** said that enough pharmaceuticals were prescribed to every American adult around-the-clock for one month.  Studies show that the majority of teens who abuse prescription drugs obtain them from family or friends for free.  Some are from their home medicine cabinet. Improper disposal methods can pose both safety and environmental hazards.

 ** Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

How the Prescription Take Back Program Can Help You

Check medications in your medicine cabinet for expiration dates.  Then check with your local waste management company to find out if they have environmentally-friendly drug disposal program.  If none, the FDA supports the responsible disposal of medicines from the home. Almost all medicines can be safely disposed of by using medicine take-back programs, if available.  If you do not have a Take Back Program near you, you can throw them away in the household trash.  Before you trash acceptable medicines, mix them (do NOT crush tablets or capsules) with an unpalatable substance.  Examples are kitty litter or used coffee grounds. Place the kitty litter or coffee grounds in a re-sealable plastic bag and throw it in your household trash.

Some medications can be flushed down the toilet.  See the FDA list of medications that are recommended for disposal.

Consumer Dangers goal is to help consumers understand the risk they face when using pharmaceutical drugs.  That includes those that appear to be safe because of FDA approval.  They also want to ensure that anyone who has been harmed by these drugs understands that they have options.  To that end, they provide an excellent resource regarding defectively manufactured drugs.  Check their list of the most notable defective drug liability claims in recent years.

Another excellent resource is Drug Dangers.  They are committed to providing information on a range of medications and medical devices that have serious complications.  To that end, they provide a list of defective drugs as well as medical devices.

Protect Your Identity

Before throwing out your empty pill bottle or other empty medicine packaging remember to scratch out all personal information on the prescription label to make it unreadable.  The same with your pet’s medications.  In fact, I remove the label altogether and shred the label.

A variety of laws have been enacted over the years to help private citizens to protect their Personally Identifiable Information.  Legislative Acts such as the Privacy Act of 1974 and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act were created to help reduce the potential of identity theft.  Most people know to protect their information such as full name, home address, email address, national ID number (selective service), passport number, vehicle registration plate, driver’s license, credit card numbers, date of birth, genetic information, telephone number, login and password information.  As you know, some of the items listed above are listed on prescription medication labels.

The above help you to protect your identity.  You can do your part to protect your identity by removing labels from prescription containers before recycling them.



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