Tuesday, April 19, 2011

HAWMC Prompt 19: Health Activist's Choice

I'm participating in WEGO Health's Health Activist Writer's Month Challenge (HAWMC) in April.

Today's challenge is Health Activist's choice. So, I'd like to share an action alert that I received from the American Pain Foundation regarding medication safety. It's Spring, which means that it's time for Spring cleaning. Why not take some time to clean out your medicine cabinet, too? There's a National Take Back Initiative taking place April 30th (10am to 2pm) - see below for details. Local collection sites and law enforcement agencies will be available to safely dispose of accumulated unwanted, unused prescription drugs.

The April Action of the Month Focuses on Medication Safety

Take stock and clean out your medication supply. Gather all of the medications in your home that have expired as they may have lost their effectiveness and/or could be harmful if taken. Collect any medications that are no longer in use, too.

Next, properly dispose of these expired or unnecessary medications by:
  • Participating in the Drug Enforcement Agency’s Take Back Program on Saturday, April 30, 2011, from 10 am to 2 pm in your local area. Learn more.
  • Properly disposing of them.
    • Flushing medications: Do not flush prescription medications down the toilet unless approved by your pharmacist or included in the Food and Drug Administration’s list.
    • Throwing out medications in the household trash. Throw out medications only if flushing instructions are not provided, but first:
      1. Take them out of their original containers.
      2. Mix the medications with used coffee grounds or kitty litter. This will make the medication less appealing to children and pets, and unrecognizable to people who may intentionally go through your trash.
      3. Pour the mixture into a sealable plastic bag, empty can, or other container to prevent it from leaking or breaking out of a garbage bag.
      4. Remove and destroy ALL identifying personal information (prescription label) from all medication containers before recycling them or throwing them into the trash.
      5. Throw them in the trash.
 with family members and friends with a note encouraging them to take stock in their homes. Post this information in your community: church bulletin board or newsletter, grocery store, hair salon or rotary club. Tell your Facebook friends and Twitter followers about APF by sharing the following message: Take Stock of Your Medications in Your Home. Dispose of all expired and unused medications. http://bit.ly/gQ0JRd 
For additional information on safe use of pain medications and proper disposal please visit www.painsafe.org
Your participation in disposing of unused or unnecessary medications properly is critical to helping protect access to care and transforming pain care in America. Encourage others to become part of this effort and join APF.
REPORT BACK – click here to report back to APF that you TOOK ACTION! 

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