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10 July, 2019 00:00 00 AM
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Keep unused medicines out of the hands of addicts

Keep unused medicines out 
of the hands of addicts

As America grapples with an opioid epidemic, it has become even more important to dispose of your leftover prescription medications properly, one pharmacist says. "Many people don't realize that simply throwing away leftover medications or flushing them down the toilet is actually very dangerous," said Karen Youmbi, manager of pharmacy regulatory surveillance and outpatient pharmacies at Cedars-Sinai, in Los Angeles.

"People suffering from substance abuse disorders may scour trash cans for drugs, and flushed substances can end up in the water supply," she explained in a Cedars Sinai news release.

Keeping unused drugs also is risky because others could get their hands on them, including children.

The most common prescription medicines that result in excess doses include those for pain, chronic heart issues, anxiety or depression, according to Youmbi.

You should read the medication's label and follow any disposal instructions, she advised.

Find a medication take-back location, such as a local pharmacy, where you can anonymously deposit unused medications in a drop box.

Check the US Drug Enforcement Administration's website for a nearby take-back location, or contact your local sheriff's department or area trash and recycling program for other options.

If there are no disposal instructions on the label and you can't find a take-back programme, here's what you should do. Grind up the leftover pills, and mix them with used coffee grounds, dirt or cat litter. This makes it harder for children, pets or people looking through trash to find the medications.

Put the mixture in a can with a lid or a sealable bag to avoid spillage.

Recycle the plastic pill bottles, but remember to remove the prescription label or scratch out personal information to protect your privacy and avoid identity theft.

Rita Shane, chief pharmacy officer and professor of medicine at Cedars-Sinai, said, "By following these simple disposal instructions, we can help keep our community safe."

Many American seniors fail to secure their medications when grandchildren are around, putting kids at risk of accidental poisoning, an alarming new survey finds.

Eighty-four percent of the 1,074 grandparents who responded to the online survey said they keep their medications in the usual spot when grandkids visit -- including cupboards or cabinets (61%); countertops and tables (18%); purses or bags (7%); or other locations (15%).

Only 5% said they routinely keep their medications in a locked cupboard or cabinet.

The survey was conducted by the University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy.

"Prescription medicines, and even over-the-counter medicines and supplements, can harm children and teens who find them in Grandma's purse or on Grandpa's kitchen table," poll director Dr. Preeti Malani said in a university news release.

"Meanwhile, opioid painkillers and sleep medicines can be diverted for recreational use by teens. No matter how old your grandchildren are, you need to think about medication safety," she said.

Nearly 40% of kids treated in US emergency departments for medication-related poisoning had taken their grandparents' medicines, according to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

And Grandma and Grandpa's house isn't the only place where youngsters might be at risk.

When grandparents visit their grandkids' homes, only 7% put their meds in a locked cupboard or cabinet. Nearly three-quarters keep them in their bag.

 HealthDay

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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