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Safe Medication Storage: Tips to Prevent Theft or Accidents

Medication Storage
Prescription medication protects lives and helps people to live more comfortably, but the benefit does not come without a cost. Every year, people die due to accidental overdose or the mistaken consumption of a drug. Drug theft, particularly from those on a fixed income, can leave some without necessary medication. Here are some ways to avoid these types of events.

Keep Children Safe

Prescription medication is the leading cause of accidental poisoning in children. In fact, a child dies every 12 days due to this avoidable problem. Do not think that a safety cap on a pill bottle is enough. A loose cap or a child determined to eat what's inside is all it takes for a family tragedy.

All medication should be out of the reach and view of children. Install locking cabinets in houses with young climbers or curious teenagers. Remind anyone who visits to use the same caution with any drugs they bring into the home. 

Ensure Proper Dosage 

The elderly and anyone with failing eyesight may struggle to read labels properly. People who take several medications may not remember the frequency or number of pills they must take. On a busy day, forgetting whether you have already taken your prescription medication can be easy to do. A mistake can lead to an overdose or a missed dose.

The easiest solution is to buy a pill organizer and line up all medication for each day of the week. Ask for help from your pharmacist or doctor if this is too difficult to do alone because of the challenge of reading the labels. Ask about the safety of this storage solution because some types of medication do not mix safely.

Avoid Potential Theft 

Drug theft is on the rise, and the elderly and those on prescription opioids are often the most at risk. Keep all medication use private and avoid leaving pill bottles or other containers where visitors will see them. Use a post office box if the prescriptions come through the mail. A post office box prevents the theft of packages left outside when you are not at home for delivery.

Caregiver theft is a concern because they often must handle medication for their patient. Screen all athome services carefully and check all medication often to ensure the supply does not dwindle faster than expected. Contact the police at once if any pills disappear from the home or from your personal belongings in an assisted living facility.

Practice Safe Disposal

Many reasons exist why people have unwanted medication. A doctor may switch a prescription, a drug expires, or the patient passes away. Certain disposal methods of these extra pills can lead to safety risks. Throwing medication in a garbage can could make the medication accessible to people and pets, and if left at a landfill, any local wildlife could consume the drugs.

Medication flushed down drains can pollute drinking water because municipal treatment plants cannot completely remove the medication from the water during their treatment process. How the drugs may affect waterways and the wildlife exposed to the water is also a concern of many biologists.

Instead of potentially dangerous disposal methods, look for drug take-back locations. Talk to doctors and pharmacists, contact local police agencies, or call the Drug Enforcement Administration, or DEA, for the nearest location of drug disposal services in your area. Some places only offer scheduled take-back events and others have permanent collection sites.

At Trans Alliance Med & Drugs, our goal is to efficiently provide our patients with the medication they need. We do all we can to ensure the safety of all our customers, and we want to make sure they know how to keep themselves and their loved ones safe as well. Contact us with any questions about your prescriptions or about our services.