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Wayne Independent - Honesdale, PA
  • Prescription drug safety is paramount

  • HARRISBURG-Cleaning out your medicine cabinet and properly disposing leftover medications will help protect Pennsylvanians from accidental medication misuse in the home, and also decreases the odds of these medications finding their way to the street.
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  • HARRISBURG-Cleaning out your medicine cabinet and properly disposing leftover medications will help protect Pennsylvanians from accidental medication misuse in the home, and also decreases the odds of these medications finding their way to the street.
    That’s the message the Pennsylvania Medical Society wants state residents to hear, and why physician members joined Gov. Tom Corbett today to promote drug take back activities.
    “It’s not unusual for families, particularly those who may serve as caretakers for older relatives, to have a collection of unused medicines sitting around the house,” said Gus Geraci, MD, chief medical officer at the Pennsylvania Medical Society. “Leftover medications after an illness or death of a family member can easily fill a medicine cabinet in no time.”
    According to Dr. Geraci, this can lead to dangerous situations.
    “Mix-ups happen when you have a cabinet full of medicine bottles,” he said. “Getting rid of leftover medications will make your house safer.”
    As part of Governor Corbett’s push to help Pennsylvanians dispose of medications, he announced today that 150 disposal boxes are being placed in secure locations.
    Last year, the Pennsylvania Medical Society started its Pills for Ills, Not Thrills campaign to help fight prescription drug abuse and doctor shoppers. According to the organization, proper disposal through secure locations will also help address prescription drug abuse as well.
    “Unfortunately, sometimes medications are stolen and find their way into the hands of those who will abuse them,” said Dr. Geraci. “The drug take back boxes that Governor Corbett announced will also help chip away at that problem.”
    According to Dr. Geraci, prescription drug abuse is a growing national problem, and is a gateway to illegal drugs. More people are dying from abusing prescription drugs than ever before.
    The Pennsylvania Medical Society recommends the following tips for proper and safe disposal of leftover medications:
    Scratch off any personal information on the medication bottle.
    Protect yourself when dropping off a medication. Place the medication(s) in a non-transparent bag to carry to the drop-off location. Take a friend if you’re uncomfortable. Be aware of suspicious individuals.
    Do not flush medications down the toilet or throw into the trash without taking precautions. If you are unable to find a drop-off location, grind the medication up and mix it with kitty litter. Then place the mixture in a sealable bag. After taking these steps, it will be safer for the environment and for your community to place in the trash.
    Do not give the medication to a friend who may be sick. Let the doctor write the appropriate prescription and dosage.
    Page 2 of 2 - Information for physicians and medical teams about the Pennsylvania Medical Society’s Pills for Ills, Not Thrills program can be found at http://www.pamedsoc.org/pillscamnr.

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