Healthwise: Unwanted Medications

By: Bailey Disselkoen Email
By: Bailey Disselkoen Email

April 18, 2012

Prescriptions, painkillers, and vitamins are all taken to help you, but what you do with them once you can no longer use them, could actually hurt the environment.

"The general public is causing more harm than good by putting them in the sewer," said Bill Weigold, manager of Environmental Services at Martha Jefferson Hospital.

Martha Jefferson Hospital is teaming up with the Albemarle County Police Department to collect expired, unused, and unwanted medications.

"We can dispose of things via the regulatory requirements that the Federal Government requires," said Weigold.

If you throw these medications away yourself, you could potentially be putting harmful chemicals into rivers and streams. They will end up in the wastewater treatment facilities that are not equipped to handle all of the chemicals that make up these medications. It is also not a good idea to leave old pills in the medicine cabinet, because there is a chance that you could take an expired pill, or even the wrong one.

"You have the concern of accidental usage, where it's a child or a grandchild," said Weigold.

To prevent those accidental mishaps, just bring your pills to the outpatient care parking lot at Martha Jefferson, hand the old medications over and help protect you, and mother nature. The prescription drop-off will take place Saturday, April 28 from 10a.m. until 2p.m.

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