June is National Safety Month. We at PharmD on Demand believe that we can all use this time to raise awareness about important safety issues, such as:
- Preventing poisonings
- Proper disposal of medications
- Preventing the misuse of prescription drugs
Everyone can be involved in reducing the risks associated with these issues. Together, we can share information and steps people can take to protect themselves and others.
Below are a few tips from us at PharmD on Demand…
- Add the poison control number to your cell phone, to ensure that you are prepared in case of a poison emergency. (1-800-222-1222) or text POISON to 484848.
- Store medications in a location that is up and away, and out of sight.
Approximately 60,000 young children are brought to the emergency room each year because they got into medicines that were left within reach. 23% of them had found pills/tablets on the ground and another 20% got into medicines that were stored in purses or diaper bags. You can play a powerful role in keeping medicines out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have them by storing them in a secure location in your home.
Proper Disposal of Medications
- Check expiration dates every six months. Don’t forget eye drops and ear drops, which can be a breeding ground for bacteria or fungus.
- Mix medicines with an unpalatable substances such as dirt, kitty litter, or used coffee grounds. Place the mixture in a sealable plastic bag, and throw the container away in your household trash.
- Remove the label, and/or scratch off all personal information when disposing of a prescription vial.
- Take advantage of pharmacy “take-back” programs or solid-waste programs to dispose of unused or expired medicines.
Screenshot or save our graphic to use as a quick reference, should you forget these steps.
Preventing the Misuse of Prescription Drugs
- Be aware that theft – especially prescription pain and ADHD medications – is a serious problem.
- Follow proper disposal practices in order to prevent thievery or diversion of medicines from the trash.
- Keep your medicines separate from those of your spouse or other family members.
Every day, 130 people die in the United States after overdosing on opioids. If you, or someone you know, is using opioids, legally or otherwise, it can be all too easy for addiction to develop. Be open and honest with your doctor. Know your options for treatment. In a life-threatening situation, always dial 911 before reaching out to any hotline.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: (800-273-8255) | National Poison Control Center: (800-222-1222) | Crisis Text Line: 741741