Disposing of your expired or unused medications…

Different medical pills and bottles, healthcare and shopping, pharmacy, drug store. Vector illustration in flat style

Saturday, April 29th is National Drug Take Back Day, which means you can drop off any unused or expired medication no questions asked. It’s easy to lose track of medications, especially if you’re caring for someone else. But if those medications fall into the wrong hands — say, a child or a pet — one dose could be fatal. So, it’s better to dispose of your excess medication in a way that is safe to both those around you and to the environment.

Why does it matter how you dispose of your prescriptions?

Prescription drug abuse is a big problem right now, and even something as small as correctly disposing of your medications can help keep that under control. According to the Health and Human Services Department, almost 2,000 people in Massachusetts died from opioid overdoses in 2016.

Use this link to find the drop-off location nearest you. Collections will begin Saturday morning at 10 am and end at 2 pm.

What if there is no collection site near you?

Most medication can be thrown in the trash, but there are some things you can do to make sure no one finds them once they’ve been discarded.

  1. Mix the medications with something that tastes terrible, like cat litter or coffee grounds.
  2. Place this unsavory concoction in a sealed bag or an empty can so that it doesn’t leak.
  3. Throw the whole container in the trash.

Also, make sure you mark out any personal information on your prescription bottles with a permanent marker to ensure the privacy of yourself and your health records.

These tips don’t apply to strong painkillers or sedatives, so the FDA recommends you flush those medications down the toilet. While that is not the best solution for the environment, it’s better than any accidental fatalities. You may have received instructions for disposal when you picked up your prescription, so check that before flushing. If you would like to know if your medication should be dropped off at a collection site on National Drug Take Back Day or flushed down the toilet, check this list.

The Opioid Crisis in America

Register for this free, self-paced course here

Every day in the United States more than 1,000 people are treated in emergency departments for not using prescription opioids as directed. In 2015 more than 30,000 people died from overdoses involving prescription opioids. This course challenges preconceptions about who can become addicted to opioids, attempts to reduce the stigma that exists around addiction in general, and to help people learn about the multiple pathways to treatment.

Bible verses for today’s meditation and inspiration: Matthew E. McLaren

Psalm 50:14 “Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving And pay your vows to the Most High;

1 Timothy 1:12 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service,

Romans 1:8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, because your faith is being proclaimed throughout the whole world.

Colossians 3:17 Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.

Hebrews 13:15 Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.

Ephesians 5:20 always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father;

2 Corinthians 1:11 you also joining in helping us through your prayers, so that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the favor bestowed on us through the prayers of many.

 Daniel 6:10 Now when Daniel knew that the document was signed, he entered his house (now in his roof chamber he had windows open toward Jerusalem); and he continued kneeling on his knees three times a day, praying and giving thanks before his God, as he had been doing previously.

Psalm 35:18 I will give You thanks in the great congregation; I will praise You among a mighty throng.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Nehemiah 12:31 Then I had the leaders of Judah come up on top of the wall, and I appointed two great choirs, the first proceeding to the right on top of the wall toward the Refuse Gate.

John 6:11 Jesus then took the loaves, and having given thanks, He distributed to those who were seated; likewise also of the fish as much as they wanted.

Acts 27:35 Having said this, he took bread and gave thanks to God in the presence of all, and he broke it and began to eat.

Ephesians 1:16 do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers

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