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Emergency department physicians advise Americans on safe disposal of medications
11.01.2010The American Medicine Chest Challenge, an initiative sponsored by the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), aims to educate the public about safely disposing of expired, unwanted or unused prescription medications.
By ensuring the responsible disposal of such drugs, Americans may be able to reduce the threat of drug abuse by children and adolescents.
"Emergency [department] physicians see first-hand the dangers of prescription drug abuse, which is why we recommend that everyone take stock of the medicines in their home," said Sandra Schneider, president of ACEP. "Prescription drugs are the most abused drugs in America other than marijuana."
She added that parents are " the first line of defense" between their children and drugs, and that clearing out the medicine chest can prevent substance abuse and addiction.
The initiative encourages mothers and fathers to lock their drug cabinets, dispose of unused medications, follow the doctor's prescription and keep a careful inventory of all pills.
Safe disposal involves removing the drugs from their original packaging and mixing them with an unappealing substance, sch as cat litter. This mixture can then be placed into a disposable container, carefully sealed and then thrown away.
Categories: Emergency medicine
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