LINCOLN – The holiday season is upon us, and there’s an important task to add to your to do list – secure your medications and clean out your medicine cabinet.
Holidays often mean houseguests. With extra people in your home, medications can easily fall into the wrong hands, resulting in accidental poisoning or drug misuse and abuse. “The majority of prescription medicine abusers get them from the medicine cabinet of a friend or relative,” points out Hallie Schimenti, Project Coordinator for the Nebraska Pharmacists Association.
“Now is a great time to take a look around your home and ensure any medications are out of sight and reach,” said Joan McVoy, Public Educator with the Nebraska Regional Poison Control Center. “Unfortunately, many toddlers suffer poisonings while visiting grandparents, so it’s important to keep medications safe from curious little fingers.”
There’s a simple way for you to do your part this holiday season to prevent drug abuse and accidental poisoning, while protecting water supplies – take back your unused, expired, or leftover medications to one of the nearly 320 pharmacies across Nebraska participating in the Nebraska MEDS initiative.
“These pharmacies will take back medications free of charge, any time, for safe disposal,” says McVoy.
When flushed, put down the drain, or thrown in the trash, over-the-counter and prescription medications can contaminate water supplies. Most water treatment facilities do not have the capacity to remove these emerging contaminants.
Every day is take-back day in Nebraska! To find a participating pharmacy near you, visit www.leftovermeds.com or call the Nebraska Regional Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222.
The Nebraska Medication Education on Disposal Strategies (MEDS) Coalition educates Nebraskans about drug disposal and provide safe ways to dispose of them to better safeguard the environment and protect public health. The Coalition includes the Nebraska Pharmacists Association, The Groundwater Foundation, Lincoln/Lancaster County Health Department, Lincoln Police Department, Coalition Rx, Lincoln Public School Nurses, LiveWise Coalition, Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality, Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, Nebraska Hospital Association, Nebraska Medical Association, Nebraska Recycling Council, Nebraska Regional Poison Center, Safe Kids Lincoln-Lancaster County, KETV, Nebraska Attorney General’s Office, and Nebraska State Patrol. The Nebraska MEDS initiative is funded by the Nebraska Environmental Trust and the Nebraska Legislature.