What do you do with medications that are expired, unwanted or unneeded?
Do you throw them in the trash? Flush them down the toilet? Or do they take up space in your medicine cabinets for years?
Sadly, all three of those scenarios can cause harm to our families and our communities. Medications that end up in the trash can be fished out and abused, while those that end up in landfills can harm animals and the environment. Pills that are flushed down a toilet or a drain can seep into our water systems, again causing environmental damage or even contaminate our drinking water. And besides taking up valuable space in your home, meds that remain in the home are open to be stolen and abused or taken accidentally by children or even adults with memory or cognitive impairments.
Drug Take Back Bins: A Total Win-Win
Fortunately for us in San Diego, there are 26 pharmaceutical take-back bins that will safely and securely accept these medications! Once collected the unwanted meds are completely incinerated at a waste energy facility that then converts them into renewable energy! This ensures the medications will not enter the environment. This solution blew me away!
What Can Go in the Bins, and What Can’t
Here’s what can go in the Bins:
- Prescription medications
- Over-the-counter medicines
- Medicated ointments and lotions
- Pet Medications
Here is WHAT SHOULD NOT BE PUT IN THE BINS:
- Illegal controlled substances (like heroin, LSD, cocaine, etc)
- Medical sharps and needles
- Epi-pens and other auto injectors
- Mercury thermometers
- Meds containing iodine
- Chemotherapy or cytotoxic meds
- Asthma inhalers and other compressed cylinders or aerosols
- Vitamins and supplements
- Business and medical waste
How Meds Should Be Delivered
If possible, transfer pills into a zipped plastic bag before placing in the bin.
- Leave medicated ointments and lotions in their original containers, with the lids tightly sealed,
- Always remove or obscure any personal information that might appear on the packaging, like names, addresses or medical info.
Find the Nearest Drug Take-Back Bin Near You!
There are 26 bins throughout San Diego County at the time of writing this article. They’re in secure spots where they can be monitored securely, and it’s contactless and anonymous.
See the website to find a drug take-back bin near you: https://www.takebackdrugs.org/
- Post-Hospital Care For Hip Joint Replacement Surgery - November 22, 2023
- 10 In-Home Care Tips for Seniors To Improve Mobility - November 3, 2023
- Home Care Advice on Why Your Senior Loved One Has Lost Weight - October 18, 2023