Every year, April 24 is observed as the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. This day is observed twice a year, April 24 and Oct. 26, to provide people with safe, convenient and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, according to Drugs Enforcement Administration.

For a country that sees millions abusing prescription drugs, experts say more than 18 million people aged 12 and older have used prescription drugs for non-medical reasons.

Hence, the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is the right time to clean out our medicine cabinets and educate the general public about the same.

Here are a few ways to dispose of the medications.

1) Securing it before disposal: Unused drugs should be removed from their original containers and mixed with undesirable items like dirt or coffee grounds to make them less appealing and unnoticeable. This mixture has to be sealed to avoid leakage before throwing it into the garbage, says the official website of the US Food And Drug Administration.

2) Think before flushing: While some drugs like Fentanyl patches and powerful narcotic pain medicines are better off flushed down the drain, not everything is. Don’t flush your medicine unless it is on the flush list.

3) Contact drug take-back facilities: The ideal and the best way to dispose of unused or expired medicines (both prescription and over the counter) is to drop off the medicine at a drug take back site, location, or program immediately.

4) Aerosols and inhalers: A lot of people, including those suffering from asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, depend on inhalers. Hence, proper disposal of such items is necessary. Read handling instructions on the labeling of inhalers and aerosol products. Never throw these products into a fire or incinerator.

5) Safeguard your identity: Before disposing of drugs, ensure that the containers or bottle doesn't carry any personal information such as your name, address and prescription number to protect your privacy. Avoid placing prescription bottles with personal details in collection receptacles or mail-back packages.

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