Dispose of old medication properly, not into the environment

Dispose of old medication properly, not into the environment
Source: WDAM

Unused drugs stored at home can be dangerous to other people and the environment.

Many people like Hattiesburg resident Patrice Hughes believe flushing old medication is safe.

" I have a three-year-old, five-year-old and I have an eight-year-old son, " Hughes said.  "He loves to play with medicine too, so I flush mine down the toilet."

Pati Landrum, director of Corporate Compliance at the Southeast Mississippi Rural Health Initiative, said it is important that people know how to dispose of medications properly.

"There is an intense push right now because of the concerns of medications getting into our waste water systems or getting into the soil when they're disposed of," Landrum said. "So no longer do they want you to dispose of them by burying them or putting them down the toilet or something like that."

Unwanted medications can end up in the wrong hands if they are not disposed correctly.

"Well if you dispose of them in the trash or try to put them at other places, people may be able to get them," Landrum said. "Children may be able to get them or others can get a hold of them and you can run into problems of overdoses or something like that with medications."

Keeping old medicine bottles on the shelf may seem like a safe option, but health professionals suggest turning them in.

The Mississippi Department of Public Safety has almost 50 locations around the state to dispose of unwanted, expired and unused household medications.