Why you should dispose of old medications
If that’s you, ask yourself why. You might like the feeling that you’re protected if you or someone in your home had a severe pain. You might have a chronic pain problem that comes and goes and want to keep relief at hand. You might think, “My child would never take my pills.”
Remember that anyone in your home could find medicine in a bathroom cabinet or closet, including your guests and your teen’s friends. Teens are more likely to abuse a prescription drug than an illegal street drug these days. Prescription medications are the most common cause of accidental poisonings among kids and are involved in nearly 40 percent of drug overdose deaths.
Also remember that if someone in your home is in severe pain, you need to get them quickly to medical treatment — not give them the painkiller from your surgery two years ago. If you are keeping your medication after a recent surgery or in case of a flare-up of a chronic pain problem, the best strategy is to store it in a safe hidden spot — ideally, locked.
April 02, 2020
Christopher Nystuen, MD, MBA