My recent post about avoiding antibacterial products actually got me thinking more about the issues of antibiotics, medications and even “superbugs”, as well as the proper disposal of unused medications. While we certainly want to avoid the products containing Triclosan (that can accumulate in our bodies and decrease the effectiveness of antibiotics), there are other important points about using antibiotics and medications that I want to be sure to share, so here goes…
When antibiotics ARE needed, it is very important to complete the dosage prescribed by your physician because failing to do so can also help create “superbugs”. New term to you? Well, by stopping antibiotic use BEFORE you have completed the full course means that the “stronger” of the bacteria can remain present in your body and they have the potential to rapidly multiply and cause you the same symptoms again. This “survival” means they are more likely to become resistant to the drug and these “superbugs” are created. (Kinda gives you the chills, huh?… me too!)
Along with this discussion it seems logical for us to remember about the proper disposal of unused drugs and medications. In a post quite some time ago I talked about all the dangers of the common “flush factor”… those of us who flush medications down the toilet. Baaaad practice! This means they end up in our water sources since most water treatment facilities don’t have the ability to remove them.
That original post offered suggestions including contacting your local pharmacy to see if they have a program to properly dispose of medications or checking Earth911 to locate a drop-off in your community.
But, if you MUST dispose of them yourself, consider the greener, safer way to do it… to keep drugs out of our water sources and prevent soil contamination from landfills too:
- Keep them in the original container so they can be identified if they are found (but remove your personal information and identification).
- Add water to pills to start dissolving them.
- Add coffee grounds, sand or kitty litter to liquids to help absorb them.
- Put the original container in a secondary container and securely tape the lid closed.
- Put them deep in your trash.
The absolute best option is to find a safe disposal option, and as much as I dislike the idea of adding this trash to a landfill, it is certainly the option safer than adding them to the drinking water of you, me and… our kids!