[Pharmwaste] Hide your old pills in poop, U.S. government says

Tenace, Laurie Laurie.Tenace at dep.state.fl.us
Fri Nov 9 10:33:37 EST 2007

Dr. Ilene Ruhoy's research is mentioned.

Hide your old pills in poop, U.S. government says

(I wonder how many of you on the list won't get this because of that naughty
word in the title! - Laurie)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Got some leftover drugs -- the kind that someone else
might want to use, such as painkillers or stimulants? Wrap them up in used
kitty litter or other pet droppings, the U.S. government advises.

A pilot program at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services
Administration is looking at ways people can safely dispose of unused
prescription drugs that are liable to be abused.

The Food and Drug Administration recommends flushing some of the most
dangerous ones down the toilet, including the strong, addictive painkillers
oxycodone and fentanyl and stimulants such as methylphenidate.

But environmentalists worry about the effects on fish and amphibians.

On its Web site at http://www.samhsa.gov/rxsafety/, SAMHSA recommends ways to
disguise leftover pills.

"Mixing prescription drugs with an undesirable substance, such as used coffee
grounds or kitty litter, and putting them in impermeable, nondescript
containers, such as empty cans or sealable bags, will further ensure the
drugs are not diverted," it says.

Of course some people do not drink coffee. But maybe they have a pet ferret.

"Ferret waste, like nearly any other form of pet waste, can be effectively
used to help prevent the abuse of unused prescription drugs," SAMHSA
spokesman Mark Weber said.

This news delighted the American Ferret Association.

"The U.S. government declares ferret poop to be an effective weapon against
drug abuse," the group said in a statement.

SAMHSA said the problem is no joke.

"One in five teens reports intentionally misusing someone else's prescription
drugs to get high. Nearly half say they get the medications from friends and
relatives for free," it says in a statement.

Dr. Ilene Ruhoy of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, studied leftover
pharmaceuticals found in the homes of 473 people who died in 2006. She found
3,562 controlled substances, or an average of nearly eight per person.

More than half were hydrocodone painkiller products, while the rest were
oxycodone, morphine or fentanyl.

Laurie J. Tenace
Environmental Specialist
Florida Department of Environmental Protection
2600 Blair Stone Road, MS 4555
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-2400
PH: (850) 245-8759
FAX: (850) 245-8811
Laurie.Tenace at dep.state.fl.us 

Mercury web pages:

Unwanted Medications web pages:

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