How to dispose of unwanted medications.
This is a huge issue. It’s HUGE! Not only is it an issue for us, our St Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon but its an issue everywhere people flush their medications down the toilet. This is also true for your pet’s medication. This is true for all medication.
DON’T FLUSH YOU MEDICATIONS DOWN THE TOILET!
“”While the concentrations of these substances found in our water bodies are hundreds or thousands of times lower than the therapeutic dosages found in the medications that we take, research has shown that there can be effects on aquatic organisms like fish and frogs.”
Here is some advice. If your starting a new medication gets a weeks worth and a prescription. Many people get large quantities of medication and they do not really know if they can tolerate it.
Transfer unused medicines to collectors registered with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Authorized sites may be retail, hospital or clinic pharmacies, and law enforcement locations. Some offer mail-back programs or collection receptacles (“drop-boxes”). Visit the DEA’s website or call 1-800-882-9539 for more information and to find an authorized collector in your community.
If no disposal instructions are given on the prescription drug labeling and no take-back program is available in your area, throw the drugs in the household trash following these steps:
- Remove them from their original containers and mix them with an undesirable substance, such as used coffee grounds, dirt or kitty litter (this makes the drug less appealing to children and pets, and unrecognizable to people who may intentionally go through the trash seeking drugs).
- Place the mixture in a sealable bag, empty can or other container to prevent the drug from leaking or breaking out of a garbage bag.
- Make sure you scratch out or remove the prescription label. (Do this with empty prescription bottles that you throw in the recycling bin.)
I really do not like the idea of throwing your medications in the garbage. What if someone’s dog got loose and ate it and got sick and died. Or some wild animal got a hold of it. This is last ditch effort. Better than flushing but not better than dropping off.
I really like the idea of bringing it somewhere and having it disposed of correctly.
Here is a list of our local places.
The Prescription Drug Take-Back Initiative
Citizens of Brevard County can drop off medications at any of the BCSO precincts.
Find addresses here:
Indian River County
The Sheriff’s Office provides this service at 4055 41st Avenue, Vero Beach. See this website for more information: https://www.myirchd.org/ClinicsandServices/Medication_Disposal.html
Palm Beach County
“Operation Pill Drop” has several drop-off sites listed here:
Martin County Sheriff’s Office
800 Southeast Monterey Road
There is also one at the substation in Indian Town
16550 SW Warfield Blvd, Indiantown, FL 34956
Port St. Lucie Sheriff’s Office.
Prescription Medication Disposal Box
Check out this great program by Lake County. I think all of us that live near the Indian River Lagoon can do this very easily.
Tavares, Florida has established a “Don’t Flush” campaign that resulted in an overflow of unused medications being turned into the Tavares Police. It’s not unusual for the collection box to be filled to capacity several times a day. The low cost campaign consisted of 50 posters and 2,000 bookmarks. The posters were supplied to local doctors and other medical providers. Bookmarks are distributed to our local library and to doctor’s offices. A City staff member, when available, will stop by nursing homes and assisted living facilities to drop off a supply of bookmarks or to informally speak to staff members about the program. The campaign was initiated by our Water Department and our message emphasizes the harm these pills can do to our water supply and our local wildlife if disposed of by flushing or pouring them down the drain.