I heard somewhere that flushing pills - page 3

down the toilet is no longer acceptable practice. What would be a good, safe, legal alternative?... Read More

  1. by   LPN1974
    OK, now I understand, thru reading more posts, that the meds are poisoning the water supply. I didn't think of that, and I claim to be one who helps the environment.
    Shame on me.
    Ok, then for pills like ones I have dropped or patients have refused, can it just be crushed and put in the trash can? Surely, there would be no problem with that, if it is finely crushed. Or, like someone else said, the sharps container could be used.
    I have heard, and I think soneone is doing it here in Arkansas, that the large quantities of pills that are left over in nursing homes, are being recycled into a program for people who have a hard time obtaining their meds due to financial reasons.
    So maybe that will take care of some of these meds that have been going into the water supply. Anyone else heard of this program?
  2. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I have also read pill-flushing should be discontinued a while back. But that is exactly what I do w/out of date pills at home, and at work, I waste all narcs down the sink after it was discovered at a different place I worked, a nurse was actually taking narcs from sharps containers (ewwww). I can't remember WHy exactly flushing was bad except, that some of these chemicals DID show up in drinking water later on.

    Here in Seattle, it's known, waste water is loaded with one promiment drug: CAFFEINE. NO lie!!!
  3. by   RN4BABES
    Quote from MUNCHKINgloria72
    down the toilet is no longer acceptable practice. What would be a good, safe, legal alternative?
    Return them to pharmacy. In our unit, we put them in the bin for pharmacy and then they dispose of them.(unless of course, they are narcs) How? I dunno. I also have heard when you have outdated drugs (at home) you shouldn't flush them as they will somehow pollute the sewer system (like it's not already polluted? :chuckle I mean doesn't it get filtered or something? I have seen signs at "Shopper's Drug Mart" asking people to bring in their expired meds for disposal.
  4. by   suebird3
    With the price of meds being what they are, the facility I am leaving "recycles". There "seems" to be a monopoly on the pharmacy system that supplies our meds, and when Abilify costs Medicaid/Medicare $400+ for a few pills.....and all the pharmacy does is destry the pills "anyhow".....

    Of course, we dispose of any narcotics that are left....MS04, Duragesic patches...when someone dies.....

    Since meds go through us anyhow....what's going on with the places that have water treatment facilities???? :chuckle
  5. by   Mimi2RN
    We now have special disposal containers, white with blue tops, for all our med waste. IV bags, tubing, buratrols, meds, except for ampules. The waste has to be squirted in the container, too. These containers are incinerated. It is supposed to reduce contamination of the water supply.

    We do have rather large *wildlife* around, probably because of the steroids and abx that have gone down the sink. :chuckle
  6. by   Antikigirl
    YEs, I have been told that putting pills into the water supply is wrong..be it sink or toliet. But for us..it is not mandated yet, and if so..then my employer is responsible for providing safe alternatives such as sharps containers (which has been suggested but dissed because of cost of disposal..and when I have three cards of 31 vicodin..well that takes up space!)...

    I also add..why worry...at least the fish are happy with my last flush of valium! LOL!!!!! I am just kidding..

    No, I heard that our water purifying facilities do take this in mind because people in general flush their meds when not using them or once expired and they do have filters to handle it! Worse stuff is put into the general water supply via toliets, sinks, outdoor drainage, etc...purification stations are aware, they do have the filters to handle it. Heck, most meds can be nullified by simple carbon! Can't say that of other chemicals people flush..even just to clean the toliet!
    Last edit by Antikigirl on Mar 14, '05
  7. by   GLORIAmunchkin72
    to give your "controlled" meds to someone else?
    Quote from Fiona59
    When my Dad died and we had loads of morphine in the house, we were told that only two pharmacies would accept it for return. One was way to far to go, and the other was just plain difficult to get to.

    We turned his meds over to the dr. who handled his care and had a lot of palliative patients who couldn't afford meds. Since most of Dads meds were in individual doses and two prescriptions weren't even open no problem, they were accepted and re-routed to other cancer and HIV/Aids patients.

    Better somebody can use them than they are disposed off.
  8. by   teeituptom
    Quote from begalli
    What does that mean exactly?

    It's a beautiful place. One of the most beautiful on earth.

    Yes it is beautifull but would you really want to swim in it
  9. by   hypnotic_nurse
    What I worry about with disposing of drugs in sharps containers is a drug seeker putting a hand in there to fish 'em out.
  10. by   GLORIAmunchkin72
    "Swimming in Steroids"
    "Dr. Mike Howell found a pregnant 2-inch long male mosquito fish (Gambusia holbrooki) in a creek in Florida! It was male because of the thin elongated anal fin or gonopodium that the male uses for copulation. But it was a female because of the black spot indicating pregnancy.


    The creek water was dark and Dr. Howell and his students attributed this to tannins and resins but they were wrong. The water reeked, was coffee-colored and had a pungent overtone because of waste from the nearby pulp-and-paper mill. The main pollutant was an "andro" that some athletes use to build muscle. This androstenedione was a secondary pollutant made from the mill waste by bacteria. It triggers the production of testosterone in the female fish giving them their male fins. Studies showed that the altered mill effluent contained a cholesterol-like pine tree sterol. The river bottom sediment would also transform the pine sterol into an andro in the laboratory. Water downstream from the mill masculinized. Upstream water didn't. All downstream female mosquito fish showed masculinization".

    New Orleans scientists have found veritable soups of androgens
    Quote from Mimi2RN
    We now have special disposal containers, white with blue tops, for all our med waste. IV bags, tubing, buratrols, meds, except for ampules. The waste has to be squirted in the container, too. These containers are incinerated. It is supposed to reduce contamination of the water supply.


    We do have rather large *wildlife* around, probably because of the steroids and abx that have gone down the sink. :chuckle
  11. by   pediatriclpn
    :chuckle just think how much money we could save on Prozac here in the U.S. if we imported British water!!!!!!!!!!


    just kidding
  12. by   begalli
    Quote from teeituptom
    Yes it is beautifull but would you really want to swim in it
    Are you kidding? You must visit The Presidio's Baker Beach. The only thing that would hold me back is the temperature of the water and the huge surf, and remember, the coldest winter ever spent was a summer in San Francisco - it's COLD! Baker beach is beautifully serene (and even has a clothes-optional in a portion ).



    The waters of the SF Bay host events like the swim from Alcatraz and many triathlons. The bay is a windsurfers dream...Baker Beach is good for surfers and bodyboarders too!
  13. by   teeituptom
    Quote from hypnotic_nurse
    What I worry about with disposing of drugs in sharps containers is a drug seeker putting a hand in there to fish 'em out.
    Ive seen thrm do that, and I have little sympathy for those that do it and get stuck

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