What do I do with leftover medicines?

n May 2012, the Sherborn Police Department got its own lock box for residents to bring unwanted prescription drugs with no questions asked. Now when you find that children have moved out and left a medicine cabinet full of unwanted medicines, you will have a safe way to dispose of them. Or if a loved one dies, you can safely clean out the medicine cabinet and bring everything to the lock box for safe disposal. There will be no chance that a neighborhood pet can get sickened from eating these medicines from trash left out on trash day. Or that they might contaminate our septic systems and groundwater after going into the toilet.

Importance of the Matter

There's a lot of controversy surrounding the issue of flushing any drug. A 2008 investigation by The Associated Press found that 250 million pounds of pharmaceuticals are flushed each year by hospitals and long-term care facilities.

There's a notable presence of pharmaceutical substances in our drinking water. In 2008, a CNN report found that, "A vast array of pharmaceuticals - including antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones - have been found in the drinking water supplies of at least 41 million Americans."

What does that mean for us? According to the EPA, studies have shown that pharmaceuticals are present in our nation's waterbodies, some causing ecological harm. However, to date, scientists have found no evidence of detrimental effects on human health. Although scientists to date have found no evidence of adverse human health effects from pharmaceutical residues in the environment. nonetheless, the FDA does not want to add drug residues into water systems unnecessarily. The agency reviewed its drug labels to identify products with disposal directions recommending flushing or disposal down the sink. This continuously revised listing can be found at FDA's Web page on Disposal of Unused Medicines.

Show All Answers

1. What can I do to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions?
2. How do I donate my computer and protect myself from identity theft?
3. What can I do to make a better environment?
4. What to Do if a Mercury Thermometer Breaks?
5. How can I get one of those nifty Sherborn Recycles T-shirts?
6. Who is Hap Ruane?
7. What must I do if a fluorescent bulb breaks?
8. I need to get rid of my old TV & monitor. Is there a free way to do it?
9. How does more efficient lighting reduce pollution?
10. What do I do with leftover medicines?
11. Do I need a sticker for the Transfer Station/Recycling Center?
12. What is a Dual Stream Facility?
13. What should I do with my plastic bags?
14. Is there any special information related to Covid 19 or other contagious illnesses?