Spring has sprung! You have cleaned your home and reset the clocks, which means the only thing left to do is to clean out your medicine cabinet.
- Throw away any medication that you no longer need or is expired. You do not want to confuse them with the medication that you do need.
- Limit the amount of drugs you receive. When your doctor gives you a prescription for 30 days and you only need to take the medication for a few days, ask the pharmacist to give you only the amount needed.
- When throwing away your medication, take advantage of the many drug take-back programs that are offered through local pharmacies, government events, and mail programs: NYC Department of Sanitation: Pharmaceutical Voluntary Take Back Programs (www.nyc.gov/html/nycwasteless/html/stuff/takeback_pharm.shtml); DEA National Drug Disposal Initiative: Got Drugs? (www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/)
You can also throw away medication on your own by following these tips, recommended by the Department of Health:
- Take your prescription drugs out of their original containers.
- Mix drugs with cat litter or used coffee grounds.
- Put the mixture into a disposable container, such as an empty margarine tub or a sealable bag.
- Remove any personal information, including the prescription number, on the empty containers by scratching it off, or covering it with black permanent marker or duct tape.
- Place the empty containers and drug mixture in the trash separately.