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October 26th is Prescription Drug Take-Back Day – Dental Regulations

The US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is holding its seventh semiannual national prescription drug take-back day on Saturday, October 26th for consumers. The purpose of this day is to provide a safe and convenient venue for the general public to safely dispose of unused prescription drugs to prevent them from disposing of the drugs in the trash or flushing them down the toilet or drains.

Unused or expired drugs are a public safety issue, leading to accidental poisoning, overdose, and abuse. Unused prescription drugs thrown in the trash can be retrieved and abused, or illegally sold. Additionally, drugs discharged down the sanitary drains potentially contaminate the water supply. Proper disposal of unused drugs saves lives and protects the environment.

Take-back programs are the best way to dispose of old drugs, but if a program is not available, consumers should:

  • Take the meds out of their bottles;
  • Mix them with something unappealing like used kitty litter of coffee grounds;
  • Seal them in a bag or disposable container, and throw away in the trash.

Please note that this program is for the general public. Dental offices with regulated medical waste such as contaminated sharps or pharmaceutical waste must follow local, state, and federal rules for proper medical waste disposal.

For information on the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, or click here for local collection sites in your neighborhood.

Since 1992, OSHA Review, Inc. has provided dental professionals with comprehensive programs to support regulatory compliance and infection control. We are a registered continuing education provider in the state of California, specializing in Dental Practice Act, infection control, and OSHA training.


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