It happens to all of us at some point; we get sick, the doctor gives us a prescription, we take it and get better — and then the bottle of pills sits in the medicine cabinet… for months years a while.
You could toss them in the trash or flush them, but traces of some medications have been found in groundwater. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says those traces aren’t likely from flushed or tossed medication:
“… the main way drug residues enter water systems is by people taking medications and then naturally passing them through their bodies, says Raanan Bloom, Ph.D., an environmental assessment expert in FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. ‘Most drugs are not completely absorbed or metabolized by the body, and enter the environment after passing through waste water treatment plants.'”
The Environmental Protection Agency has yet to find any evidence of “adverse human health effects” due to pharmaceutical waste, but Capt. Jim Hunter, R.Ph., M.P.H., senior program manager on FDA’s Controlled Substance Staff admits it’s better to keep medical residue out of the environment if we can.
So how can you do that?
Whitesell Pharmacy and the Frederick City Police Department are making it easy. Bring your unused and expired medications to Harry Grove Stadium (21 Stadium Drive in Frederick) on Saturday, April 30, 2011 between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm. Drop them in the secure container and they’ll take care of the rest. If you’d like, you can remove any personal information from the bottles, but organizers have promised all personal information will be kept confidential.
Acceptable items include:
- prescription medications
- over-the-counter medications
- medical samples
- pet medications
- medicated ointments/lotions
They will not accept:
- IV bags
- blood or infectious waste
- business waste
- oxygen tanks
Have more questions? Give Anne Marie at Whitesell Pharmacy a call at 301-662-4848.