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How to Dispose of Unused Medications – Safely

dispose_drugs_300How to Dispose of Unused Medications – Safely

 BALDWIN, Michigan –  If you have unused prescriptions, what’s the best way to get rid of them? Although common, flushing and throwing away medications is not recommended. Flushing and throwing away medications increase chances of environmental harm and accidental poisoning.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), over 82% of American adults take at least one medication and most Americans take many medications.

Usually, medications get used and all that is left is a plastic vial. This is not always the case. It’s not uncommon for medications to be changed, or for loved ones to pass away. In both cases, unused medications are left behind.

There are different options for medication disposal to choose from. Local fire departments and law enforcement locations have drug take back events regularly. Although a good option, these events don’t happen often. One overlooked disposal location is a pharmacy. Most pharmacies, including Family Health Care Pharmacy, will take back medications. Most pharmacies only take back non-controlled medications. Currently, Family Health Care Pharmacies only dispose of non-controlled medications, but will be expanding to controlled substances in the near future. To dispose of medications, collect all of the vials in a plastic bag before dropping them off.

Proper disposal of needles is important to reduce getting stuck by a used needle and disease transmission. One good way to dispose of used needles in the home is to put them in a used laundry detergent bottle.

If you have questions about disposing of unused medications, you may contact any Family Health Care Pharmacy. Family Health Care (FHC) pharmacies are open to the public. In Lake County the FHC pharmacy is at 1615 Michigan Avenue, Baldwin. In Newaygo County: 1035 Wilcox Avenue, White Cloud; 11 N. Maple, Grant.  And in Cadillac the pharmacy is at 520 Cobb Street.

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About Family Health Care:
Family Health Care (FHC), is non-profit 501(c)(3) organization established in 1967, as one of the first community health centers in the U.S. to develop a “one-stop-multiple services” concept for health care services for all. FHC offers family medicine, pediatric and, internal medicine, Comprehensive dental service, full service Pharmacies, laboratory, x-ray, behavioral health care, therapy services, health education, and school-based programing.  Centers are located in Baldwin, Cadillac, Grant, McBain and White Cloud. Our team is composed of diverse and passionate individuals who want to make a positive impact in the communities we serve. For more information, visit