Health & Safety

September 21, 2012

Ask the Doc

99th Medical Group


Q: Why am I able to dispose of some medications in the trash as long as they’re mixed with an unpalatable substance and sealed but others I cannot?

A: Some medications, while safe and effective when used as prescribed, are especially harmful to children, pets or anyone else if taken accidentally. Harmful effects can include breathing difficulties or heart problems that may lead to death. Also, some medications such as fentanyl patches may still contain large amounts of the drug even after use. For these reasons, it is advised NOT to throw these harmful medications in the trash as this may result in accidental use. To permanently remove risk of harm from the home follow specific instructions for disposal by flushing down the sink or toilet.
If you are unsure of whether your medication can be flushed, check with your local pharmacy or bring them to a medication take-back program for disposal. Nellis AFB will be hosting its next DEA Drug Take-Back Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29.
Send your questions to askthedoc@nellis.af.mil.




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