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To Flush or Not to Flush: How Do You Dispose of Expired Drugs

Tips for Safe Drug Disposal  By Lynda Shrager
Published Apr 1, 2014 everydayhealth.com

For the medications you are going to toss, follow these guidelines:

First, organize your medicines, and gather all of the expired drugs (prescriptions have dates on the labels; over-the-counter bottles and boxes are stamped with expiration dates).

Remove identifying information from the prescription label to help maintain your privacy and protect your personal health information. You don’t need the world to know you have acid reflux or are depressed, psychotic, or on birth control
If available, follow specific disposal guidelines noted on the bottle or patient information sheet.

Don’t flush prescription drugs unless the bottle or info sheet says to.

Crush pills or capsules or dissolve them in water.
Before throwing drugs in the trash, take them out of their containers and mix them with an “undesirable substance” such as coffee grounds or kitty litter. To avoid leakage or breakage out of the main garbage bag, put the mixture in a sealed plastic bag before placing it in the trash. The sealed bags will be less appealing to curious children or pets or anyone else who might go through your trash.

Lynda combines her expertise as an occupational therapist, master’s level social worker, professional organizer and aging in place specialist to pursue her passion of providing therapeutic care in the patient’s home environment and in educating their caregivers. To that end she is eagerly launching a new initiative called “At Home for Life” to facilitate a senior’s desire to remain in their own home as they face the crossroads of diminished physical and cognitive abilities. Lynda will provide residential assessments and make recommendations to enable people to safely access and navigate their own homes, thereby allowing them to age in place.