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Monday, August 29, 2016
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Medication Safety Every day, 2,500 teenagers use a prescription drug to get high for the first time. However, drug abuse isn't the only risk associated with unused medications. Ingesting expired medications can be harmful. Improper disposal of medications that are no longer indicated or prescribed may lead to accidental ingestion causing drug interactions or adverse drug events. Accidental ingestion by children, the elderly, or pets can also occur.
Environmental Impact Nearly 4 billion prescriptions are filled in the United States every year, and it has been estimated that as much as a third of the dispensed medication goes unused – leading to potentially 200 million pounds of pharmaceuticals that could adversely affect the environment if disposed of improperly. Studies have demonstrated that pharmaceuticals are present in our nation's waterways, and further research suggests that certain drugs may cause ecological harm.
Pharmacy Locator You may be able to safely dispose of unused or expired medications by taking advantage of take-back programs in your area. Use the pharmacy locator to find a participating community pharmacy near you.

Welcome to DisposeMyMeds.org

Welcome to DisposeMyMeds.org, an online resource to help you to find medication disposal programs at the local independent community pharmacy near you. This public service program is presented by the NCPA Foundation. NCPA members can find information about participating in Dispose My Meds here.

Your local community pharmacist has knowledge to ensure the safe and proper handling of your medications, from dispensing to disposal.

In addition to proper disposal, you can help prevent drug misuse and abuse each time you request and take your prescriptions. Once you have taken your prescriptions home, remember to keep them out of the sight and reach of children, and avoid taking them in front of children, since they tend to mimic adults. Never give your medications to anyone else or take someone else’s medications.

And remember to take your medicine as directed. A survey released by the National Community Pharmacists Association found that an astounding three-quarter of adults do not always take their prescription medicine as directed. Many forget to take a medication, take less than the prescribed dosage, or stop taking it before the supply runs out. In more than half the cases, the patients made these decisions without talking to a health care professional. Experts estimate that this patient non-adherence costs the United States nearly $100 billion per year in extra medical costs, including hospital visits, doctor visits, lab tests, and nursing home admissions.

We would encourage you to talk to your pharmacist and ensure you are taking your medications correctly. Do not leave the pharmacy without understanding everything you need to know about your medications, including how to store, use and dispose of them properly.

Poison Help at 1-800-222-1222 is free to callers and is answered by clinicians who have been specially trained in toxicology and poison prevention. The line is answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It is a resource for the public and healthcare practitioners alike.

If a drug take-back or collection program is not available in your area, please refer to Federal Guidelines from the Office of National Drug Control Policy on the proper disposal of medications.

Safe Disposal of Medications

Each year in the United States, more than 71,000 children aged 18 and younger are seen in emergency rooms for unintentional overdoses of prescription and over-the-counter drugs.

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Environmental Impact

More than 100 different pharmaceuticals have been detected in lakes, rivers, reservoirs and streams throughout the world.

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