Safe and secure prescription drug storage critical for residents in self-quarantine, social distancing

36

At a time when proper disposal may not be feasible, residents should take steps to keep prescription drugs out of the wrong hands

information provided by Cook County MEDS

COOK COUNTY, Ill. (March 26, 2020) – Proper disposal of unused or expired medications is critical to keeping it out of the wrong hands, but in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, gathering for proper disposal at local police stations on National Drug Take Back Day (April 25) may not be possible. In the meantime, Cook County MEDS is encouraging residents who may be practicing social distancing or self-quarantining at home to take the opportunity organize and safeguard their medications.

Simple steps such as making sure medicines are securely stored are critical to keeping families and communities safe from prescription drug abuse. According to the Partnership for Drug Free Kids, nearly 25 percent of teens report abusing or misusing a prescription drug at least once in their life. Misuse of prescription or over-the-counter medications can lead to serious consequences for children, teens, and pets. Medicines should be kept in a high place, out of reach of young children and pets. Families with older kids in the home may want to consider storing medications in a secure location such as a safe or lockbox.

Cook County residents who find they have a lot of expired or unneeded medications can visit www.CookCountyMEDS.org to find a nearby secure disposal location for whenever social distancing restrictions are relaxed.

Residents with immediate disposal needs should visit the FDA website for additional guidance and be sure to comply with all applicable federal, state, and local legal requirements.