The day has arrived. The pain is finally gone. No more waking up with aches and no more pills to take throughout the day. So happens to the rest of the medication that hasn’t been taken? It would probably be best to leave in the medicine cabinet just in case the pain comes back, right?

Wrong.

Leaving leftover opioid medication in an easy-to-access location is a potential recipe to disaster. The medication becomes accessible to others who may be unaware of what is in the container and may mistake it for another medication. Leftover medication is a dangerous risk for accidental overdose for both you and your loved ones.

So, the question comes up: how do you get rid of your medication?

You first thought is likely to throw them in the trash, but this is far from the correct option. Placing opioids in the trash leaves them available to curious pets and even children. When placing prescription medication in the trash, it is important to crush them and combine them with an undesirable substance, such as dirt or cat litter, so that the medication cannot be retrieved from the garbage. All it takes is a few extra seconds to ensure the safety of those around you. Also, when disposing the prescription bottle, be sure to mark out all personal information before throwing the bottle in the trash.

If you prefer another method than the trash, the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) offers several of opportunities to dispose your prescription medication. National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day provides a chance to dispose of any medication safely outside of the home. Also, the DEA has issued “drop-boxes” in police departments and certain pharmacies that provide this opportunity to dispose of medication year-round. It is important to properly dispose of your prescription medication so that the medication do not fall into the wrong hands and cause unintentional harm to others. While it may seem like a waste of time, proper disposal could potentially save a life of someone close to you.

While it may seem like common sense, sharing or selling your prescription medication is not a proper form of disposing your medication. Both sharing and selling medication, regardless of what a friend of family member tells you, are entirely illegal. Simply sharing prescription medication can result in punishments of 10-30 years in prison. Not only is sharing illegal, you also put the lives of others at risk. A friend or family member may not know how to properly use the substance, so they are potentially at risk for misuse.

At ProveIt!, we urge you to understand the responsibility that comes with taking prescription opioids, and safe disposal is part of that responsibility. Opioids are a necessity for many that struggle with the effects of short-term and chronic pain; however, it is important to be just as responsible when you are finished with your medication as you are while taking your medication.