Do you have un-used or expired medications lurking in your medicine cabinet? By some means or another, we all seem to end up with expired medication in our homes. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to know what to do with these drugs. They often are no longer helpful to us because their efficacy has run its course, and it’s not safe to use drugs without speaking to your pharmacist or doctor about potential interactions, etc.
But then, like me, you may have heard that dumping these drugs down the toilet causes havoc on streams and the animal and plant life they feed. Or you may have heard noticed that many over the counter (OTC) drugs are now locked behind your local pharmacy counter due the street drug traffic. So what can you do to safely dispose of them?
The Drug Enforcement Agency has a national program that works with communities to get these drugs out of your home safely and dispose of them. This program happens twice a year, and October 26, 2013 is the Fall program date. Here is a link to find a place close to you. Many of the locations are police stations or community centers; your local pharmacy too may be able to help guide you.
Christine Bitzer, LICSW, is the Assistant Director of Seabury Resources for Aging’s Care Management service. Care managers work with older adults on an individual basis to advise them on a variety of issues and services; such as home care, transportation, medical/legal assistance and housing. Families are put at ease having a knowledgeable guide to provide recommendations and resources to meet their unique needs. This expertise can save families money and reduce stress and time away from work. Christine can be reached at (202) 364-0020 or email her at CBitzer@seaburyresources.org