If you have expired prescription medications, it’s essential to dispose of them securely. When prescription drugs are abused, it puts people at risk for injury, addiction and even death. This problem is an increasing concern in the United States, with millions of people taking prescription drugs non-medicinally every year. The problem not only highlights the issue of prescription drug abuse, but the importance of proper handling and storage of prescription medications.

For those who haven’t thought much about disposing unused expired medications, here’s the importance of secure drug disposal you should care about:

Improperly disposed drugs are accessible for children, teens and other individuals

For children, small, round, colorful medications look just like candy. On the other hand, teenagers and adults can mistake your medication for their own prescription, or think it will cure their illness even if it isn’t prescribed for them. However this comes with potentially harmful side effects. Prescriptions should only be taken by the person they are prescribed to and only in the exact way it was prescribed.

Excess medications can be abused without your knowledge

Leftover medications provided for pain and ailments are frequently abused by individuals who seek them for unintended, illicit uses. Drug abuse is a problem worldwide; pain medicines, cough syrup and more are used for purposes other than recommended by doctors. The consequences of this can be addictive and dangerous.

Disposing expired medications lessens the chance of improper intake

Excess medications clutter your cabinet, but they can also cause confusion when multiple bottles and pills look similar. This concern should be considered when taking care of older loved ones who need various medications at different times. Keeping unnecessary medications creates opportunities for loved ones to be confused and take the wrong pills, or too many pills.

Safe disposal eliminates access for neighbors and other individuals

The abuse of prescription medication happens outside of the home. Leaving expired medications in the garbage outside your house while still intact and in the original containers. This makes it easy for neighbors and strangers to steal them and possibly look for them in the future. Safely dispose of medications to protect the health and safety of your community.

Medication containers have personal information that can pose a threat to privacy

Tossing your pill bottles haphazardly into the trash leaves your personal information at risk. Remove your personal details or black them out before throwing medicine bottles away. This way no one can see your phone number, address or pharmacy location.

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