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Expired medicine disposal

Gather up your expired and unneeded prescription medicines and bring them to the Public Safety Center at 5770 Freeport Blvd. from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. this Saturday for safe disposal.

The Sacramento Police Department, for the third time, is offering a collection site as part of the DEA’s National Take Back Day.

According to the DEA’s website, “More than 376,593 pounds (188 tons) of unwanted or expired medications [were turned in] for safe and proper disposal” this past April.

There are many reasons to participate in this important program, including limiting access to children. According to the DEA’s website, “Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including the home medicine cabinet.”

Unexpired medicines should also never be given to others to use because medicines react differently for each person. Doctors take many factors into consideration before prescribing. Weight, age, other medical conditions, other prescriptions being taken, and past allergic reactions are just a few.

Yet another reason is that using expired medicines “is risky and possibly harmful to your health,” according to the FDA. Expired medicine may become less potent. It is also possible that the chemical compositions may have changed, so the FDA also recommends proper and safe disposal of medicines.

If you can’t make it to Saturday’s event, Sacramento county residents may bring their expired medicine to the North Area Recovery Station or place them in the trash. Disposal in waste cans should conform to the guidelines set forth by the FDA. Although the FDA provides a short list of medicines that may be flushed, CalRecycle states, “Do not dispose of any waste medication down the drain or down the toilet.” Always check with your local jurisdiction before disposing.

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