VA Maryland Health Care System
Disposing Meds Properly
"When any substance, including a drug, is flushed down the toilet, it becomes part of the water supply. Regardless of what it is—birth control pills, antibiotics, controlled substances—it can leach into ground water if you have a septic tank," said Eugene DeLara, chief of Pharmacy Service at the VA Maryland Health Care System. "You don’t want to introduce controlled substances and other medicines into the environment."
Additionally, you should remove expired, unwanted or unused medications from your home where they can be inadvertently diverted, misused, or abused.
"When drugs are not disposed of correctly, they can easily fall into the wrong hands. It may be a teenager who steals them for his/her own use, a curious toddler who puts everything in their mouth, or a trash picker combing through a dumpster," DeLara said.
The safest way to prevent these problems is to drop unwanted and expired medicines into the Safemed receptacles. Veteran who receive their care at any Maryland Health Care System outpatient clinic can ask for the special mail-back, postage pre-paid envelopes to dispose of their unwanted medicines without incurring any costs.