Pill Popping Perch

The pills you were taking for chronic hiccuping have worked and you never even had to finish the prescription. Now what the heck to you do with all of those extra pills?

According to the Fish and Wildlife Service, you shouldn't flush them down the toilet or toss them in the garbage.

A new partnership between the Fish and Wildlife Service and the American Pharmaceutical Association is aimed at educating citizens, through pamphlets, websites and events, about the threat posed by pills popped into the pot.

The Smart Disposal program provides some tips in the press release on how to keep your pills out of waterways like rivers, lakes, and seas.

1. DO NOT FLUSH unused medications. Consumers were once advised to flush their expired or unused medications; however, recent environmental impact studies report that this could be having an adverse impact on the environment. While the rule of thumb is not to flush, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has determined that certain medications should be flushed due to their abuse potential. Read the instructions on your medication and talk to your pharmacist.

2. When tossing unused medications, protect children and pets from the potentially negative effects. APhA recommends that consumers:

Crush solid medications or dissolve them in water (this applies for liquid medications as well) and mix with kitty litter or sawdust (or any material that absorbs the dissolved medication and makes it less appealing for pets or children to eat), then place in a sealed plastic bag BEFORE tossing in the trash.
Remove and destroy ALL identifying personal information (prescription label) from the medication container.
Check for approved state and local collection programs or with area hazardous waste facilities. In certain states, you may be able to take your unused medications to your community pharmacy.

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