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How to safely dispose of old medications, according to experts

Washington Post – “Unneeded prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs can be dangerous to humans, pets and the environment — but getting rid of them responsibly isn’t as simple as tossing them in the trash. If you have expired painkillers accumulating in your medicine cabinet, you’re not alone. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, studies have found that between one- and three-quarters of patients store unused opioids for future use, or simply misplace them. While the dangers of those drugs are especially well known, keeping any kind of old prescription around can be risky. Accidental medication ingestion is a leading cause of child poisoning and the most common reason people call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center for their pets. Getting rid of medications, though, is more complicated than just tossing them in the trash. Federal agencies including the DEA, Food and Drug Administration, and Environmental Protection Agency work together to educate the public on how proper disposal can keep children and pets safe, deter misuse and prevent pharmaceuticals from entering streams and rivers when they’re poured down a drain or flushed down the toilet. Here are the ways those agencies and other experts recommend disposing of unneeded drugs…”

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