Health and Wellness: Clean out the medicine cabinet

Ann Cochran - Dallas County Health Department

Sometimes after a hospitalization or illness you end up with a few unused pills or a half-inch of liquid prescription medicine in a bottle. It’s hard to know what to do with it. Medications should never be tossed in the trash, nor flushed down the toilet. Both these “solutions” end up poisoning everyone’s groundwater. It’s also a bad idea to have unused prescription drugs sitting around.

Dallas County Health Department can assist you with unused and no longer needed pills and liquid medicines. Your Health Department has free disposal bags that neutralize the drugs. To get a medication disposal bag, call 515-993-3750, or come to the Health Department office during business hours. It’s at 25747 N Avenue, just north of Adel on Highway 169.

The disposal process is surprisingly simple: put the medications in a disposal bag, add warm water, seal the bag and gently shake. The chemicals in the bag neutralize the active ingredients in the medicine. Just throw the sealed bag in the trash.

Why not take a few minutes today to look around at home for any unused, expired, no-longer-needed cough syrup, suppositories or pills? Disposing of them properly will mean one less thing to worry about.