Orange County residents can help prevent prescription drug abuse by anonymously disposing of expired, unused or unwanted prescription medications as part of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s “National Take Back Day” on Saturday, Oct. 22 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at locations throughout the county.
The most common source for the last prescription pain medication misused by people over 12 years old belonged to a friend or relative, according to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. To help prevent this, practice these medication safety tips year-round, and share them with your patients and their families:
- Remove expired, unwanted or unused medications from your home as quickly as possible, preferably through an authorized collection site.
- Store medication in a cool, dry place. Keep it out of reach and out of sight, and in a locked location. Do not store it in a purse or nightstand, or other locations children can easily get into.
- Don’t put medication away in front of children or take medication in front of them, as they tend to mimic adults’ behaviors.
- Remind children that medicine is not candy.
- Remember that child-resistant medication containers do not necessarily mean child-proof.
If you are unable to attend this annual community event, follow these easy steps to dispose of most medications in your home:
- Mix medicines (do not crush tablets or capsules) with an inedible product such as dirt or used coffee grounds
- Place the mixture in a sealed plastic bag
- Dispose of the bag in your household trash
- Remove all personal information from the prescription’s label
To participate in National Take Back Day on Oct. 22, anonymously drop off unused medications at any of the more than 30 participating locations throughout Orange County.