Posted by Debra Worley - email
WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Having unnecessary medications in the home can be a hazard. Old medications could be confused with current medications or children and pets could be poisoned by them.
But, if you check the warning label of prescription medications, you won't find instructions for how to dispose of the drug.
With no federal or state regulation for consumers, many people leave the pills to gather dust in medicine cabinets or simply flush them down the toilet.
Pills that are flushed go directly into the public water system, and throwing unwanted medications in the trash allows them to break down over time and leach into groundwater.
In October of 2008, the Associated Press found trace amounts of drugs have been detected in the drinking water supplies of 24 major metropolitan areas.
In addition to keeping our environment clean, proper disposal of unused medications also prevents them from falling into the wrong hands and being distributed illegally or being used by someone who is abusing prescription medication.
The New Hanover Regional Medical and local law enforcement agencies are holding a free medication disposal event Saturday, March 28.
The public is invited to bring any unneeded or expired medications to be disposed of in a safe and environmentally sound manner.
Pharmacists and nurses will be on hand to answer questions and the Wilmington Police Department, New Hanover County Sheriff's Office and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration will be on hand to accept controlled substances.