Part of the Oregon Coalition for the Responsible Use of Meds (OrCRM) four-part action plan is to reduce the volume of unwanted and unused pills to reduce risk of abuse. Through funding from the office of the attorney general of Oregon, OrCRM is engaging with the public, pharmacists and health systems to take immediate action by making medication disposal more accessible and well utilized.
By safely disposing of medications you can keep them out of the hands of loved ones and decrease the risk of:
- Abuse and misuse
- Accidental poisoning and Suicide
- Pollution of waterways
Abuse and Misuse
70% of those abusing opioids received them from a friend or family member.
Accidental poisoning and suicide
According to the Oregon Poison Control Center the risk for accidental poisoning is increased by storing unneeded medicines in our homes.
- Most (91%) of unintentional poisoning deaths are a result of drug overdose – particularly from opioid pain medications
- Pain medications are the single most frequent cause of pediatric fatalities reported to Poison Control
For more information, see the National Poison Statistics website.
Oregon Poison Control statistics show that pain relievers (analgesics) are the most frequent reason for calls to the Oregon Poison Control hotline.
All of these statistics show the importance of getting rid of disused medications. Why can’t you simply throw them away?
- Trash is not secure from diversion.
- Putting medications in landfills contributes to environmental pollution.
- Flushing medications contributes to pollution of our waterways: septic and wastewater treatment programs do not remove medications from our water.
- The EPA, DEA and FDA all recommend medicine take back over trash disposal.
So where DO I dispose of my unused medications?
Pharmacies are beginning to provide this service as well, so you can dispose of your old medications as you pick up your new ones. These are listed on our map as well.