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New film offers tips on safe disposal of unwanted medications

When someone takes medications, they know it’s important to diligently read the labels and store them up and away, out of the reach of kids. But what do they do if their medicine cabinet is full of expired drugs or medications that they no longer want?

Recognizing that an estimated 40 percent of sold medications end up unused, and that safe medication disposal is often overlooked, the Alliance for Aging Research has launched a new “pocket film” that offers consumers a simple step-by-step guide on safe disposal. This free resource covers disposal of both over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medications and is available for online viewing, download, or on DVD.

“Safely disposing of your medications protects your health, the environment, and loved ones in your life,” says Alliance Vice President of Health Programs Lindsay Clarke. “This expert-reviewed short film gives a simple, brief introduction to this sometimes complex topic. We encourage health professionals, patient education providers, community health departments, and all organizations focused on medication safety to use it as a resource to educate patients and consumers.”

Film topics include:

  • How to dispose of medications at home in three simple steps
  • Why certain medications must be flushed
  • Tips on where to dispose of medications outside the home, such as through take-back programs
  • How to keep personal information safe

This film, produced in collaboration with the CHPA Educational Foundation, represents the third in a series of films focused on educating consumers about how to safely choose, take, store, and dispose of medications. They, along with additional resources on drug safety, are available here.