Tuesday - November 19, 2019
Pharmacists Recommend Drug Disposal
Written by Savannah Gunter   
Tuesday, 08 October 2019 16:33

RALEIGH—In the midst of America's 'opioid crisis’, pharmacists say it is more important than ever to properly dispose of medication. Executive Director of Chapel Hill-based North Carolina Board of Pharmacy Jay Campbell says that if possible, medicine-users should get rid of their meds at approved drug disposal locations.

Medicine is used to promote health, but sources say that failing to dispose of unused drugs—prescribed or over-the-counter—can cause more harm than good. Melissa Madigan of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy says that leftover medication is often misused and can lead to dangers for teens, pets, and the elderly. According to NABP, unintentional overdoses are becoming an increasing cause of American deaths.

Campbell says drug disposal is a “pervasive issue” in that many people are unaware of the danger surrounding leftover medications or of how to safely get rid of them. The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy provides alternative methods for safe drug disposal such as mixing the medication with coffee grounds or cat litter and then throwing it away, using a drug-inactivating powder available at some pharmacies, or the old fashioned flush down the toilet method in some cases. However, Campbell says that the safest way to get rid of unused medication is by taking it to a drug disposal box.

Campbell says there are many drug disposal locations throughout North Carolina and that they are commonly found in community pharmacies, police stations, and other law enforcement facilities. He also says that pharmacists themselves are a good resource for finding disposal locations. The NABP’s Safe Pharmacy website also features a ‘drug disposal locator’ to help direct medication-users to the nearest disposal center.

“North Carolina is doing a really good job” with drug disposal according to Campbell. He says that though annual events such as Operation Medicine Drop are great ways to get rid of used medication, he encourages North Carolinians to dispose of their drugs more frequently to keep citizens as safe as possible.

More information is available at https://safe.pharmacy.

 
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