Don't Let Your Pills Get into the Wrong Hands

Here's how to safely dispose of leftover meds.

by Nanette Varian • Editor { View Profile }
pills, prescription photo
Photograph: iStock

In an exclusive More magazine interview, New York special narcotics prosecutor Bridget Brennan warns of an epidemic of accidental addiction to prescription painkillers that’s causing devastation among  users and bystanders alike.

Don't let your meds fall into the wrong hands. To combat the diversion of prescription medications to people for whom they were not intended, and to prevent the accidental ingestion of dangerous medicines by children or pets, it is imperative to properly dispose of unused, unwanted or expired medications:

• READ THE LABEL or patient-information insert that came with the medication to see if the manufacturer provides disposal instructions.

• CHECK THE THE FDA'S WEBSITE. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration provides up-to-date tips for the best ways to dispose of different types of drugs.

• TAKE THE DRUGS to a medicine take-back program. The FDA recommends contacting your city or county government's household trash and recycling service to see if there is a take-back program in your area and to learn of any special rules on which meds are accepted. In addition, the Drug Enforcement Administration hosts National Prescription Drug Take-Back days; the April 28, 2012, event netted a record 276 tons at 5,659 sites throughout the country.

Don't miss MORE's profile of superstar narcotics prosecutor Bridget Brennan, who is taking aim at the American medical establishment in an attempt to curb the country's skyrocketing rate of prescription-painkiller abuse. Click here to read.

First Published Tue, 2012-05-08 16:42

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