Disposing of Unused Prescription Drugs in California
Not only is having unused prescription drugs in your house a hassle, after all, they take up a remarkable amount of space in your medicine cabinet, they can also be a legal concern. According to the law, you’re not supposed to have any prescription drugs in your house that aren’t currently prescribed to you, which includes outdated drugs and prescriptions that included a specific end date. There is also a constant concern that someone you know could take the drugs and sell them, making you an unwitting participant in an illegal drug deal.
The problem with unwanted prescription drugs is that disposing of them isn’t as easy as it should be. Environmental concerns means that flushing them down the toilet or drain is no longer a good idea. You can’t simply through them in the trash. What options are left?
The best course of action is returning the unwanted prescriptions to the pharmacies and letting them figure out what to do with them. But even this isn’t a simple process, especially since some pharmacies don’t accept unwanted prescription drugs.
The first thing you can do is contact your pharmacy and see if they’ll take the outdated prescriptions. Make sure you tell them what the medication is, when it expired, and who it was originally prescribed to.
If your pharmacy turns you down, contact your local police station and explain your predicament. The first thing this does is alert them that you’re trying to dispose of the medication which should give you a defense should you get pulled over while transporting the outdated medication. The second problem this accomplishes is that the person you speak to should be able to provide you with fairly detailed information about how prescription drug disposal works in your area. It’s possible that there is a mail-in program or that a local hospital, medical office, or pharmacy is participating in California’s Hospital Medical Waste Recycle Program, which was created in relation to Senate Bill 212.
When you’re disposing of unwanted prescription pills it is in your best interest to keep the medication in the original prescription bottle. Don’t combine different medications. If the prescription bottle is cracked or damaged, put it in a plastic baggie and consult a person who is involved in the prescription drug dispersal program on how to proceed.