You can tell we are a society that takes a lot of drugs (legal ones that is) by watching commercials. You see ads for anti-depressants, antacids, and a host of other remedies for ailments we just as soon not think about. But, what happens to all the prescription or over-the-counter drugs that are brought home, but for one reason or another, end up unused?
When people's prescriptions change, their drugs expire or are no longer needed, these medicines are typically flushed or thrown away. Pharmaceuticals thrown in the trash can leach into the environment; flushed drugs can kill bacteria that break down waste in sewage plants, damage septic systems, and contaminate nearby waterways and harm aquatic wildlife.
A 2008 Associated Press investigation found pharmaceuticals in the drinking water supplies of at least 41 million Americans. In the course of a five-month inquiry, the AP discovered that drugs have been detected in the drinking water supplies of 24 major metropolitan areas.
IISG has developed a series of toolkits and initiatives to help communities, schools and individuals develop and promote programs for safe disposal of unwanted medicine.
To order a CD version of this toolkit, visit our Products page.
Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant College Program
University of Illinois
1101 W. Peabody Drive
350 National Soybean Research Center, MC-635
Urbana, IL 61801
Ph: 217.333.6444 | Fax: 217.333.8046 | firstname.lastname@example.org