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National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

October 23 is the date for the 2021 National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. This special day aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs. If this date won’t work for you there is also a link for year-round drug disposal.

This is the time to go through medicine cabinets and look for any expired drugs. Medicines that are at the back of your cabinets make it easy for family members, visitors, or others to take the drugs to sell, misuse, or abuse.

Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.

According to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 9.7 million people misused prescription pain relievers, 4.9 million misused prescription stimulants, and 5.9 million people misused prescription tranquilizers or sedatives in 2019.

Unused or expired medicine should never be flushed or poured down the drain. Water reclamation facilities are not designed to remove all of them, and trace amounts of pharmaceuticals are showing up in rivers and lakes. This not only affects wildlife but as consumers of the water, we are drinking this residue.

Throwing them in the trash can also pose a potential safety hazard.

Drug Take Back Day provides a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposal, while also educating the community about the potential abuse and consequences of improper storage and disposal of these medications.

Bring: Prescription (controlled and non-controlled) and over-the-counter medications, ointments, patches, inhalers, non-aerosol sprays, creams, vials and pet medications. Vape pens or other e-cigarette devices (batteries removed). Blister packages without the medications being removed are acceptable.

Do Not Bring: Illegal drugs, needles/sharps, acids, aerosol cans, bio-hazardous materials (anything containing a bodily fluid or blood), personal care products (shampoo, soaps, lotions, sunscreens), household hazardous waste (paint, pesticides, oil, gas), mercury thermometers.

I know that these events happen once or twice a year, so I keep a bag in my shed house to put any unused prescription pain killers or prescriptions that have been changed and old ones not used. I also pick up drugs from clients that would have a difficult time taking the drugs to the drop-off places.

Let’s do our part to keep people and our environment safe and healthy.

Jonda S. Beattie, Professional Organizer owner of Time Space Organization, and co-owner of Release, Repurpose, Reorganize. She is based in the Metro-Atlanta area. As presenter, award-winning author, as well as a retired special education teacher she uses her listening skills, problem solving skills, knowledge of different learning techniques, ADHD specialty, and paper management skills to help clients tackle the toughest organizational issues. Jonda does hands on organizing and virtual organizing. For more of Jonda’s tips connect with her on Facebook.

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