[Pharmwaste] Breaking the Drug Habit

Catherine Zimmer zimme053 at umn.edu
Fri Jun 15 11:34:01 EDT 2007

Hi all,
I agree, we need to break the drug habit--literally.  Our society is SO 
dependent on pills.  We, and I imagine that includes most of us on this 
listserve--I count myself--depend on drugs.  Whether it be our morning 
caffeine, ibuprofen for aches, antacids, SSRI, birth control, whatever. 
Most of us are probably on multiple medications ourselves.  So, I 
propose, rather than a "pill a day", how about going back to the old 
adage, of "an apple a day" (organic of course)? 

For example, I have recently committed myself to improving my health by 
increasing exercise and weaning myself, with my MD's permission, from 
two medications.  She, by the way, knew nothing about the drugs in our 
waters.  I've been experiencing some back and leg pain--from a fall down 
some steps four years ago, and rather than popping ibuprofen, I've been 
doing stretching exercises--with great results. 

I quit drinking coffee and although I drink tea, my caffeine pollution 
is decreased considerably.  This also minimizes the need for drugs to 
quell my stomach due to coffee's acidity. 

When your doctor suggests prescribing a medication--how about asking if 
there is a drug free alternative?  And if not, get the smallest quantity 
and smallest dose possible.  One EPA toxicologist I spoke with says we 
often excrete about 90% of the drug. 

We need to be part of the change we seek. 

Catherine Zimmer
Health Care Specialist

Minnesota Technical Assistance Program
University of Minnesota
612/624-4635, 800/247-0015

Helping Minnesota businesses maximize resource efficiency, prevent pollution and reduce costs.

Cecilia Height wrote:
> Greetings,
> This came from the website Ideal Bite.  The word is getting out there.
> Ideal Bite [dailytip at idealbite.com]
> Cheers ~ Cecilia Height
>          /         /         /         /         /         /
> */ What drug habit do we all need to break? /*
> * The Bite *
> The habit of chucking unused medication. When we flush meds down 
> drains or send them to landfills, they make their way into rivers and 
> even drinking water. Proper disposal is just what the doctor ordered.
> * The Benefits *
> ·         ** Healthier aquatic ** ** life. ** More than 80% of rivers 
> recently sampled tested positive for meds like antibiotics, birth 
> control hormones, and antidepressants.
> ·         ** Safer drinking ** ** water. ** Trace amounts of 
> pharmaceuticals end up in our H2O because most treatment plants aren't 
> designed to filter them out.
> ·         ** Helping people who can't afford ** ** meds. ** Many 
> states have programs that'll take your drugs and redistribute them.
> * Personally Speaking *
> We take in unused meds to our local pharmacies whenever we have to 
> pick up a prescription (sadly, it doesn't mean we get a discount).
> * Wanna Try? *
> ·         The Starfish Project 
> <http://www.idealbite.com/dailytip/link.php?URL=aHR0cDovL3d3dy50aGVzdGFyZmlzaHByb2plY3Qub3JnLw%3D%3D&Name=&EncryptedMemberID=MTU0NjA%3D&CampaignID=1&CampaignStatisticsID=326&Demo=0&Email=cheight@cfl.rr.com> 
> - takes donations of certain meds by mail and distributes them to 
> people in Africa .
> ·         Earth911 
> <http://www.idealbite.com/dailytip/link.php?URL=aHR0cDovL3d3dy5lYXJ0aDkxMS5vcmcvbWFzdGVyLmFzcD9zPWxzJmFtcDtjYXQ9OSZhbXA7c2VydmljZWlkPTE5MyZhbXA7dHlwZT0tMQ%3D%3D&Name=&EncryptedMemberID=MTU0NjA%3D&CampaignID=1&CampaignStatisticsID=326&Demo=0&Email=cheight@cfl.rr.com> 
> - enter your zip to find nearby drop sites for unused pills.
> ·         Drug Repository Programs - check with your local Department 
> of Health or Board of Pharmacy.
> ·         Pharmacies - many pharmacies, such as Rite Aid, have safe 
> drug disposal programs; check with yours.
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
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