To help spread awareness of prescription drug abuse, the Maricopa County Attorney's Office wants parents and family members to learn how to get rid of unused medicine and encourage others to do the same. According to the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics, almost half of all Americans take at least one prescription drug. Leftover and expired prescription drugs in medicine cabinets at home can contribute to abuse, accidental poisonings, and overdoses. The unauthorized use of prescription drugs is the most common form of drug abuse in America behind marijuana.
The start of the holiday season is a great time to clean out your medicine cabinet and get rid of any unused, unwanted, or expired medicine. Unlike food and other items in your home, medicine requires extra attention and should be disposed of carefully to prevent it from being lost, stolen, or misused. The most efficient way to get rid of unused medicine is to drop it off at a local drug take-back site, where they can safely destroy it.
If a take-back site is not readily available in your community, talk with your local pharmacist, and ask for a drug disposal packet to permanently destroy opioids and other prescription drugs. Prescription drug disposal packets contain non-toxic and non-hazardous materials. They break down medication when mixed with water and are safely disposed of in household garbage. If this option is also not available and the prescription drug is on the FDA's Flush List, you should immediately flush any leftover medicine.
For all other medicine that does not present an immediate risk to you or your family, you can dispose of it at home by mixing it with dirt, coffee grounds, or cat litter, placing the mixture in a sealed bag, and throwing it in your trash. To protect your personal information, make sure to remove or scratch out the label from the pill bottle and packaging before disposing of it.
Remove the risk in your home today and prevent a tragedy tomorrow. To learn more about prescription drug abuse and opioids visit, MaricopaCountyAttorney.org/Opioids