3 Common Myths about Drug Disposal

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When you have medications that aren’t good anymore, knowing how to dispose of them safely is important. Find out what you should and shouldn’t do with these drugs. 

Going through your prescription and nonprescription medications on a regular basis helps ensure that you don’t take anything that’s expired. What should you do with any expired medications that you do come across? Make sure you’re not falling for any of the following drug disposal myths when you clean out your medicine cabinet.

Myth: You can flush unused or expired medications.

Flushing these medications might seem safe and convenient, but it’s not a good way to get rid of them. When you flush drugs down the toilet, you run the risk of contaminating your local water supply. You could also be putting wildlife in harm’s way if they ingest these medications or drink contaminated water. Keep in mind that wastewater treatment plants can’t always eliminate all traces of medication from your local water supply.

Myth: Tossing medications in the garbage is a safe way to get rid of them.

Instead of keeping expired or unused medications in your home, where kids or other family members might get to them, you should get discard them. However, throwing them in the trash can isn’t a safe method of disposal. Throwing medications in waste baskets inside your home or in outdoor cans means they’re still around where other people can reach them. You might also be putting your pets or outdoor wildlife at risk if they’re able to ingest them.

Myth: Grinding up or crushing unused or expired drugs makes disposal safer.

You might think that crushing these drugs removes the harm they can cause, since other people or pets can’t ingest them by accident. However, doing this doesn’t reduce the risk of harm. In fact, family members and pets can end up being at a higher risk of harm if they come into contact with these medications from ground-up powder or dust that gets into their mouth or on their skin.

What to Do with Unused or Expired Medications

Bringing these drugs to your local police department to utilize their drug disposal box is the best way to dispose of them. Our pharmacy technicians can provide you with information on how you can safely get rid of them without putting others at risk.

If you need to dispose of medications that you have at home, please contact Smith-Caldwell Drug Store. Our community pharmacy in Benton can provide you with information on the difference between name brand drugs and generic drugs, so you can lower your prescription costs. Call us today at (501) 315-7700 for more information.

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