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Prescription Subscription: Don’t Rush to Flush

Help reduce the amount of medical waste and prescription drugs that end up in our water supply.

In communities across the country, trace amounts of drugs from antibiotics to antidepressants have been found in local water supplies. For years, the public has been told to flush unused/expired medications down the toilet. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) now recommends finding a drop off facility that will ensure that the drugs are disposed of properly.

The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) holds two national drug take back days, one in the spring and one in the fall. In 2013 742,497 pounds (371 tons) of unneeded medications were collected at over 5,800 law enforcement sites across the nation. In addition to the national program, most states host prescription take-back programs and many pharmacies collect unwanted and expired prescriptions and see that they are properly disposed.

Raise the issue of prescription drug pollution in our water supply with your employees and the community. Don’t Rush to Flush.

  • Remind people not to flush unused or unwanted prescriptions.
  • If you are a medical facility with an onsite pharmacy, see about accepting unused and expired medications for proper disposal.   
  • Contact your local law enforcement office and see if they will partner with you during take back events.
  • Publicize any local take-back events.

Interested in learning more? Visit these online sources:

http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback

http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/features/drugs-in-our-drinking-water

http://www.takebacknetwork.com

 

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