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Safety Matters! Properly Dispose of Medications

From the Desk of Dr. Antonucci

Feb. 22, 2023

Do you have expired, unused or unwanted prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) medications in your home? Properly disposing of these medications is important to help curb drug misuse and keep the environment, including our water, clean.

There are now easy-to-use, at-home options for disposing of prescription and OTC medications to keep people from flushing them down the toilet or throwing them into the garbage. These medication disposal products are available online or in pharmacies. Locally, through a grant with United Way over three years, the Coalition for a Drug-Free SWFL is partnering with Lee Health and other health care providers to make Deterra® Drug Disposal System pouches available in our community.

Deterra’s patented medication disposal pouches use activated carbon absorption to deactivate prescription drugs, pills, patches, liquids, creams and films, rendering them inert. By utilizing this pouch (or other drug deactivation products), drugs are no longer available for misuse, to be accidentally ingested, diverted or abused, and they can’t leak into the ecosystem.

If you need a safe way to dispose of medications, talk to your health care provider to see if they have any Deterra Drug Disposal System pouches. The pouches also will be available at no cost, while supplies last, at local health fairs, including the Annual Omega Health Forum at Dunbar High School (3800 Edison Ave., Fort Myers) on Saturday, Feb. 25, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. A quick internet search can also point you in the direction of where to purchase these safety tools.

I am proud that Lee Health, the United Way, our Healthy Lee member, the Coalition for a Drug-Free SWFL, and other health care providers are providing awareness and options for people in our community to safely purge and dispose of their medications.