It’s now easier than ever to get rid of unused medications | Public Health Insider

Don’t keep you old prescriptions around; find how you can safely get rid of them.

  • Monday, December 17, 2018 4:15pm
  • Life
It’s now easier than ever to get rid of unused medications | Public Health Insider

The following was written by Sharon Bogan for Public Health Insider:

When you open your cabinet in your bathroom, what do you find? If you are like me, you might find expired sunscreen, an old bottle of bright orange nail polish, and more miniature hand sanitizer than you know what to do with. Along with my harmless clutter, I find medicines that I’m no longer using, from cold medicine from last flu season, to expired infants Tylenol, to prescription pain medication from a past surgery.

I’m probably not alone in not giving much thought to getting rid of these unused medications. But recently, I’ve realized there are many reasons to take the simple step of dropping our family’s unused medications off at a nearby drop-box.

Medicine return keeps loved ones safe

It’s now easier than ever to get rid of unused medications | Public Health Insider

According to the Washington Poison Center, medication bottles are not completely childproof. And kids often think pills are candy.

The Washington Poison Center’s Specialists in Poison Information – nurses and pharmacists with expert-level training in toxicology – have seen a rise in calls related to intentional overdoses. The Washington Poison Center strongly recommends getting unused prescription and over-the-counter medicines out of the home. Their specialists in poison information are always available to provide expert and confidential advice 24/7/365 by calling: 1 (800) 222-1222.

It’s easy to keep loved ones safe by locking up the medicines you use and dispose of what you don’t use at a secure medication drop-box.

Medicine return can help protect my community

Unused prescription drugs can find their way into the wrong hands. We know from public health data that opioid use disorder often starts with prescription drugs. Provider education and new prescribing rules have reduced prescription opioid misuse, and there’s more we can all do, including in the home. Getting rid of unused medications can help prevent young people from starting down a path of misuse.

It’s now easier than ever to get rid of unused medications | Public Health Insider

Medicine return prevents harmful pollutants from entering the environment

It’s better for the environment to dispose of unwanted medicines at a drop-box rather than flush them or throw them away. Medicines flushed down the toilet, the drain or thrown in the garbage can end up in our environment. Children and pets can also get into the medicines they find in the garbage, putting them at risk.

Medicine return is convenient. Text to find a location near you

King County has over 100 locations where you can return your unused medications and it’s free! There are many drop-boxes in grocery stores, pharmacies and health clinics. (The boxes look a lot like a mailbox.)

And now it’s easier than ever to find a drop-box. Text the word MEDS to the number 667873. You will get a message back asking for your zip code. Reply with your zip code and get nearby locations of drop-boxes sent right to your phone.

You can also go to www.MedicineReturn.org to see the full list of locations.

About the artwork

The series of DON’T HANG ON TO MEDS comic strips share reasons why it’s important to get rid of unused medications in the home, told from the perspectives of parents, grandparents, people who have experienced addiction, and healthcare providers.

Seattle comics artist Tatiana Gill and Public Health’s communications specialist Meredith Li-Vollmer developed the comics campaign. Read a selection of the comic strips and learn more about the artist and the approach.

View and download multiple comic strips and images at the Heroin and Prescription Opiate Addiction Taskforce: kingcounty.gov/DontHangOnToMeds

The artwork is now on display at the Chinatown/International District bus tunnel as well as on local buses throughout King County. More artwork will be displayed at the Pioneer Square bus tunnel station in January.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@courierherald.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.courierherald.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 500 words or less.

More in Life

2021 Chevrolet Tahoe High Country
Car review: 2021 Chevy Tahoe 4WD High Country

By Larry Lark, contributor Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) for short, in the… Continue reading

2021 Lexus NX 300h
Car review: 2021 Lexus NX 300h

By Larry Lark, contributor The 2021 Lexus NX 300h luxury sports utility… Continue reading

St. Elizabeth Hospital. Photo courtesy Virginia Mason Franciscan
Virginia Mason Franciscan looking for volunteers to help with vaccine rollout

You can help out at clinics, or man a phone bank to get people scheduled for appointments.

In 2018, Buckley resident Katherine Hunter took 2nd place in the 11th and 12th grade drawing category of the annual My Own Expressions contest hosted by the Pierce County Library System. Courtesy image
Our Own Expressions art and writing contest opens for Buckley students

Young Buckley writers and artists have an opportunity to show off their… Continue reading

2021 Hyundai Elantra SEL
Car review: 2021 Hyundai Elantra SEL

By Larry Lark, contributor Compact sedans are not in vogue now, but… Continue reading

2020 Honda Insight. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2020 Honda Insight

By Larry Lark, contributor Honda’s Civic and Accord have been bestsellers for… Continue reading

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime XSE. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime XSE

By Larry Lark, contributor With each passing year Toyota continues to refine… Continue reading

2021 Toyota Corolla XSE. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2021 Toyota Corolla XSE

By Larry Lark, contributor Toyota’s venerable Corolla received a bumper-to-bumper, wheels-to-roof transformation… Continue reading

2021 Volkswagen Atlas. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2021 Volkswagen Atlas

By Larry Lark, contributor Volkswagen’s full-size Atlas SUV received a bold refresh… Continue reading

XXX
BECU scholarships open

High school seniors and college students can apply for a $2,500 scholarship.

2021 Chevrolet Blazer. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2021 Chevrolet Blazer

By Larry Lark, contributor When it comes to certain car models they… Continue reading