How to properly dispose of extra prescription pills - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

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How to properly dispose of extra prescription pills

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OPELIKA, Ala. -

Prescription Drug Abuse is the second most common form of drug abuse in America. In an effort to combat it, people across the United States were able to get rid of their unwanted medications. If you couldn't make the event Saturday, we're on your side with how to properly dispose of unused pills.

"Today was perfect. You know it allowed us to get rid of them all at one time," said Lee County Coroner Bill Harris.

He is talking about all the prescription pills his department has collected over time.

"Normally our procedure is if we go on a scene and there's medication brought to our attention then we'll take those medications, count them, log them, and then destroy them. This is just several years of accumulation of those meds that we're finally able to get rid of in a proper manner," said Harris.

The Lee County Sheriff's Office and Beauregard drugs made that possible Saturday. Pharmacist Tucker Simmons said it's important to clean out your cabinet of these medications because they could pose a risk to family members.

"Prescription drugs are made for a specific person and if somebody else gets them is when you can overdose or get poisoned through that," said Tucker Simmons.

The majority of teens who abuse prescription drugs get them from a family medicine cabinet. So if you couldn't make the event, there are safe ways to dispose of your pills. Simmons said you should mix pills with something unappealing like used kitty litter or coffee grounds. Then you should seal them in a bag or disposable container and throw them in the trash. This will make it harder for others to get their hands on your prescription pills.

You shouldn't flush pills down the toilet because they could potentially contaminate the water. The Food and Drug Administration also suggests scratching out any identification information on prescription labels before you discard them. It will help protect your identity and health information.

For disposing of medical needles, you can participate in mail back programs or get a home needle destruction device.

You can visit http://www.epa.gov/wastes/nonhaz/industrial/medical/disposal.htm for more information on proper disposal of medical needles.

 

 

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