COLUMN: Safely store and dispose prescription medication

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By Theresa Howard

 During the week of Sept. 23-29, The Partnership at Drugfree.org is launching the Medicine Abuse Project, a multi-year effort to raise public awareness about and curb prescription drug abuse.

Most of us will take a prescription medication at some point in our lives. It’s important to remember that medicine a doctor prescribes you is only intended for your use.

Here are some tips for safely storing medication:

· Keep all medications and vitamins in a safe location, away from small children, who might mistake it for candy, and out of sight of others, who might want to abuse it.

· Keep medicines in a container or box that can be locked. Make sure to put the key in a separate, secure place.

· Always remember to put your medicines back in their storage container after each use. Make sure all medicine bottle caps are secure.

One of the safest ways to properly dispose of medication is through take-back programs, which give individuals an opportunity to bring their unused medication to a central location for proper disposal.

Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 29 in the Courthouse lower parking lot. The event is sponsored by LaRue County Waste Management (358-9903) for any unneeded or outdated prescription drugs.

If you can’t make it to the community drug take-back program, follow these guidelines to ensure safe disposal at your home:

· Remove prescriptions from their original container.

· Mix drugs with a substance that would be undesirable to people and animals. Good examples would be cat litter or coffee grounds. If the medication is a liquid, dilute it with water. If the medication is in pill form, crush and dilute it with water.

· Put the mixture into a disposable container or plastic bag, seal and place in the trash.

· Remove or cover all personal information on the prescription bottle before recycling or throwing it away.