President's Prescription: medication disposal - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

President's Prescription: medication disposal

Source: KCBD Source: KCBD

Did you know that last year, more than four billion prescriptions were filled in the U.S.?

Many people don't need to finish all of their prescriptions, and leftover medication sits around the house.

This week we examine the risks this poses and how you can handle leftover medications better.

Americans spend more than $300 billion every year on medications. And, when the unused portion of those medications stays in your drug cabinet, you put your family at risk. Here's some things you can remember to keep your family safe.

Nearly one in five teens say they have used prescription medicine non-medically, or in other words, simply to get high, to help them study or for some non-medicinal reason.

In fact, one-fourth of first time drug users begin abusing drugs with the non-medical use of prescription drugs. And, over-the-counter medication like cough medicine is also used often for non-medical purposes by kids. It's important to secure medications you use and to get rid of medications you don't use in order to keep them out of the wrong hands.

Many people now know the importance of disposing of medications they no longer use, but aren't sure how to do it. Flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the garbage can carries the risk of the medication damaging the environment as it breaks down.

Instead, check with your pharmacy about medication clean-out events, where you can safely dispose of your medication so that it doesn't become a substance for abuse or damage to the environment. Some national pharmacies also have ongoing medication disposal programs that allow you to mail in unused portions of your medication at any time.

Disposing of all unused medication is an important thing to do so that you don't make a loved one sick or the environment sick. Decreasing the rates of new addiction is everybody's job.

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