Having unused medications lying around can have serious unintended consequences.
- It can be easy to confuse them with medications you’re currently taking.
- Children who are visiting your home may get into them, leading to accidental poisoning.
- Teens who use prescription drugs to get high often report obtaining them from friends or the family medicine cabinet.
Flushing those old medications down the toilet may pollute the water supply, since sewage treatment plants cannot remove all of the contaminants.
Similarly, putting them in the trash may put pets and wildlife at risk, even if mixed with coffee grounds, kitty litter or other undesirable substances to try to prevent them from consuming the medications.
On May 12, TMC for Seniors, in partnership with the Tucson Police Department, will host a Dispose-A-Med event, designed to help the community properly and safely dispose of prescription drugs, as well as over the counter medicines. The drugs will be incinerated in coordination with the Drug Enforcement Administration.
The drop-off event runs from 10 a.m. – noon at the El Dorado Health Campus, 1400 N. Wilmot Road.
Better yet, if you have questions about medications, come early at 9 a.m. for a Medication Safety presentation from a Tucson Medical Center pharmacist. One-to-one consultations will follow until noon for anyone wanting to discuss their individual medications. Please bring your current medication bottles with you.
Here are a few other tips to participate in Dispose-A-Med:
- Bring your medications in their original bottles to speed up the process. Dispose-A-Med members will remove the labels for you to protect your privacy.
- Liquids, inhalation aerosol bottles, syringes, epi pens and creams are not accepted.
“Medication safety is a serious issue and we’re pleased to play a role,” said Maya Luria, director of TMC for Seniors. “Awareness is critical in minimizing risk, so we’re looking forward to sharing information through our pharmacists, while providing a venue to help our community combat the potential of medication abuse and protect the environment at the same time.”