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As a pharmacist, one of my primary goals is to educate my patients on The Importance of Medication Safety.
Medication safety is such a broad term that encompasses many aspects. Proper use, storage, and disposal are all parts of medication safety. Read on to learn The Importance of Medication Safety.
Proper Use of Medications
Most people that are prescribed medications by their physicians are very responsible and use their medications properly. However, drug misuse is a major issue in this country. Not taking medications appropriately is extremely dangerous and can be deadly. There is even a federal law that prohibits anyone from possessing or using some else’s prescriptions. So proper use of prescription medication is very important.
Proper Storage of Medications
In addition to being a pharmacist, I am also a mom as you know. When my kids were small I swear everything in my house was locked up so good that I couldn’t even get into things sometimes! Safe storage of medications is so important especially in a home with children and teens. Childproof medication caps are not always 100% childproof. So make sure you store any medications in places that children can’t reach.
And when they turn into teens store them somewhere that they do not have any access to. Teens are experimenters by nature and as much as we may think that your teenager is not, you don’t want to take the chance.
Proper Disposal of Medications
“What do I do with expired medications” is probably the #1 question I get asked. Sometimes there are certain regulations for the proper disposal of medications depending on your town or state. But one thing I always tell my patients is they never want to flush them or throw them in the trash. This can contaminate the water supply and is not good for the environment in general.
The best way to dispose of expired or unwanted medication is the LifeInCheck Consumer Drug Take-back program. You can find a local kiosk location to visit or you can use the mail-back envelope service they provide. Both the kiosk and the mailer are so easy to use that it makes the process quick and painless. In Massachusetts, only opioids and benzodiazepines should be placed in the drug take-back kiosks.
Every Spring I make sure that part of my Spring cleaning is cleaning out my medicine cabinet and disposing of any unused or expired prescription medications. Doing this at the same time every year is a great way to remember. It is also a great time of year to do this because April 24th, 2021 is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.