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Monday, May 29, 2017
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Informer: Trash, flush or turn in old prescription drugs

Last Modified: Saturday, January 19, 2013 7:56 PM

By Andrew Perzo / American Press

Where can we take outdated medicine to be disposed of?

The Food and Drug Administration says consumers can dispose of most medicines in their household trash. But it recommends flushing down the toilet certain narcotics and painkillers.

Among them:

Abstral — sublingual tablets.

Avinza — extended-release capsules.

Demerol — tablets and oral solution.

Dilaudid — tablets and oral liquid.

Dolophine hydrochloride — tablets.

Embeda — extended-release capsules.

Kadian — extended-release capsules.

Methadone hydrochloride — oral solution.

Methadose — tablets.

Morphine sulfate — immediate-release tablets and oral solution.

Opana — immediate-release tablets.

Opana ER — extended-release tablets.

Oxycodone hydrochloride — capsules, oral solution and extended-release tablets.

Percocet — tablets.

Percodan — tablets.

Xyrem — oral solution.

Unless the drug packaging says otherwise, all other medicines, the FDA says, should be removed from their containers; mixed with cat litter or some other “undesirable substance,” making them “less appealing to children and pets, and unrecognizable to people who may intentionally go through your trash”; placed in a sealed bag; and then dropped in the household trash.

Take-back days

As part of the White House’s strategy to cut abuse of prescription medication, the Drug Enforcement Administration for the last several years has regularly worked with state and local authorities, including those in Calcasieu Parish, to hold Prescription Drug Take-Back Days.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s latest National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.1 million people abused prescription drugs in 2011. Of those, 54 percent got the drugs for free from friends or relatives, 12 percent bought them from friends or relatives, and 4 percent stole them from medicine cabinets.

“More than one in six (18.1 percent) indicated that they got the drugs they most recently used through a prescription from one doctor,” the report reads. “Less than 1 in 20 users (3.9 percent) got pain relievers from a drug dealer or other stranger, 1.9 percent got pain relievers from more than one doctor, and 0.3 percent bought them on the Internet.”

According to the DEA, the last take-back day, held in September, took in 244 tons of expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs nationwide. The next take-back event will be April 27, and state police Sgt. James Anderson said local law enforcement agencies will likely participate.

For more information on drug disposal, contact your pharmacist.


More on discrepancy in street name

Wednesday’s Informer fielded a question from a reader who was frustrated because the name of the street he lives on — in a new subdivision between Iowa and Lacassine — doesn’t appear in GPS databases and is often incorrectly listed as “Drive” rather than the proper “Lane” on mail he receives.

The discrepancy, he said, causes UPS and FedEx delivery people trouble. The column suggested contacting GPS data suppliers about adding the name to maps.

But another reader, who works for a real estate appraiser, wrote in to say that the problem may stem from incorrect information in the U.S. Postal Service’s database, which is used by other delivery services.

McKinney Boyd, a Postal Service spokesman, suggested the residents of the street — Ava Lane, off Pousson Road in Jeff Davis Parish — contact the subdivision’s developer, which he said would have provided the information to the post office.

• • •

The Informer answers questions from readers each Sunday, Monday and Wednesday. It is researched and written by Andrew Perzo, an American Press staff writer. To ask a question, call 494-4098, press 5 and leave voice mail, or email

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