How do you get rid of your old medications?

If your household is like most others, you probably have a medicine cabinet filled with a variety of over the counter and prescription medications, including pet meds, cough and cold remedies and pain killers. Some have been sitting around in your cabinets for months or even years creating a potential hazard.

Sadly, I’m not aware of any programs that accept and recycle personal prescription or over-the-counter drugs. Flushing drugs down the drain or toilet is no longer a recommended method of disposal. Drugs disposed of in this manner are finding their way into our rivers, streams and ground water and are impacting our fish population. PLEASE DON’T FLUSH OLD MEDICATIONS.

Here are some safe approved disposal methods.

Medication Take-Back Programs
Many communities offer residents a place to drop off unused drugs for proper disposal. All private information should be removed or blacked out before disposing of prescriptions. Residents of Lake County can bring their unwanted and expired prescriptions, pet meds, creams, cough syrups, vitamins and pain killers to any of the following locations:

– Lake County Sheriff’s Office in Painesville
– Willoughby Hills Police Department
– Eastlake Police Department
– Madison Twp. Police Department
– Lakeland Community College Police Department
– Mentor Police Department
– Willoughby Police Department

No needles or syringes can be accepted. All drugs collected in these disposal bins will be destroyed by incineration.

For those outside of Lake County, please contact your city or county government’s household trash and recycling service to learn about medication disposal options and guidelines for your area.

Household Trash
If you don’t have access to a drug take-back program, you can safely dispose of drugs in your household trash. Mix tablets or pills with something inedible like kitty litter or used coffee grounds and wrap the mixture in a plastic bag before you throw it in the trash. This method prevents drugs from leaching into the soil or ending up in the wrong hands.

With the high price of medications, it may be difficult for you to throw away pills and prescriptions that cost you so much money. The hard fact is that it’s not safe to pass them on to others, their potency will change with age and their presence in your home is hazardous. So, please takes steps and clean out your medicine cabinet this week.

Questions? Contact me at 440-255-5700

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