Health authorities have appointed the 22nd of October as the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, a day in which people are reminded that expired and left-over medication represents a health hazard. Moreover, there are several undergoing national campaigns meant to educate the public on the matter of disposing of expired medication.
Everybody has some unused medication in their cabinets, most of the pills being past their expiration dates. People usually clean their medicine drawers and cabinets during spring cleaning, throwing the surplus in the trash. However, according to the authorities, such a practice is harmful to the environment, as well as for family members who could get sick if they ingest an expired pill or if they mistake one drug for another.
Officials are keen on reminding the general public that:
- Expired or unused medication can lead to accidental overdose, poisoning, and abuse.
- Leftover prescription drugs are considered a public health hazard.
- When taken without doctor supervision or prescription, pharmaceutical products can be as lethal as street drugs.
- The most common form of drug abuse, second to marijuana consumption, is the non-medical abuse of prescription medication.
- Most adolescents develop a prescription drug addiction by consuming medication procured by family members or from their home medicine cabinet.
- Prescription drugs thrown in the trash can be easily retrieved by people who will either consume or sell them.
- Expired or leftover medication that is flushed down the toilet contaminates the local water supply.
- By properly disposing of expired medication people contribute to environmental protection efforts.
- The best way of disposing of expired medication or leftover drugs is through take-back programs that are organized each year.
People will be able to dispose of their expired or left-over medication on October 22nd from 10 AM to 2 PM at the following sites:
- Agana Shopping Center, just across Vitamin World
- Saipan Commonwealth Health Center Pharmacy
- Naval Base Guam, the Food Court section
- Andersen Air Force Base, the Exchange and Commissary section
Now that you know the basic rules of disposing of expired medication will abide by the regulation? Do you think that if more people followed the medication disposal protocol the number of prescription drug addicts would drop?
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