What to do about those unused or out-of-date prescription drugs in the medicine cabinet? Flushing pills down the toilet is not the way to get rid of them. Studies indicate that traces of some pharmaceuticals often find their way back into your drinking water.
Giving them to someone else is not a good idea either. Sharing those old meds or selling them to others is both unwise and illegal.
Leftover pain medications often end up in the illegal drug market. It’s important that prescription drugs don’t make their way into this pipeline.
Safely disposing of old or unused prescription drugs is of a particular concern to Tennesseans. A few years ago, Forbes magazine ranked the Volunteer State No. 2 in the nation for its use of prescription drugs. So there must be a lot of unused drugs out there.
The Johnson City Police Departments knows this to be the case. As Press staff writer Becky Campbell reported recently, a drug drop-off box nearly two years ago has been so successful that the department plans to replace it with a bigger one.
“About two years ago we started the drug take-back event and saw a need,” for the box, said JCPD Officer Allan Rutledge. “We thought it would be good to have that year round so people could directly put (medications) in the box.”
Many drug companies and health care providers implement “take-back programs” that offer households a safe way to dispose of drugs they no longer need. Such programs already exist, such as a local event last week hosted by the Johnson City Police Department, but more are needed. We would suggest pharmaceutical companies have an ethical obligation to take the lead on this issue.
So remember — don’t flush those meds down the drain. Dispose of your unused prescription drugs in a safe and responsible manner.