Experts have always said prescription medications are hidden killers, lurking inside our homes. Now, abuse of left over and unused prescription drugs is skyrocketing, especially among teens, which is exactly why health and law enforcement experts want us to throw them out. But what's the safest way?
The FDA says we can do it on our own or take them to drop-off sites.
According to the FDA, to get rid of unused prescription medication, throw away the pills inside plastic, sealable sandwich bags and mix in used coffee grinds and cat litter. This accomplishes two things, making the pills unappealing to dig out of the trash to then use and abuse and it prevents any leakage into the soil at the trash dump.
Bottom line, health experts say tossing out unused pills and medication eliminates the risk of abuse or overdose. "You can see the number of fatalities because of overdose has exceeded the number of motor vehicle accidents and there have been significant efforts to reduce that,” said Dr. Aly Aly Hassan with UNMC/VA Psychiatrics.
What's the harm in letting them sit around the house? Consider this information from a recent national survey. In the last five years, an increase of 33 percent of teens are abusing prescription drugs, the same number of parents say they believe Ritalin or Adderall will help their child even without an ADHD diagnoses, 25 percent of teens say their parents don't care as much if they are caught using prescription drugs versus illicit ones.
WOWT Facebook fans spoke out:
Danny said he wasn’t surprised by it (statistics) because society glorifies prescription pills.
Stephanie wondered why so many are prescribed at once. She doesn't think anybody needs 200 pills at a time.