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Taking Action
How You Can Support Don’t Rush to Flush


1. Reduce Need for Medications

  • Commit to wellness strategies that reduce your reliance on medications
  • Talk to your health care provider about managing your health with fewer medications or alternatives to your current regimen
  • Consider alternatives to painkillers, such as over-the-counter pain relievers, acupuncture, or other holistic techniques
  • Only fill a prescription if you think you’ll need it and be sure to finish the prescription if possible
  • Purchase drugs in small amounts to reduce the number of expired medications

2. Store Medications Safely

  • Keep medicines out of sight and reach of children and pets
  • Educate your family and caregivers about proper dosage, safe storage, and types of high-risk medications
  • Secure medications that have a high risk for abuse in a cabinet, drawer, or medicine safe
  • Keep an inventory of all prescription medications in the home
  • Keep track of pill quantities

3. Properly Dispose

  • Never dispose of any medication down the toilet and in the trash ONLY as a last resort
  • Instead, dispose of unused medications at medication collection sites or collection events:
    • Check to see what items the location accepts
      •  Non-controlled medications can be taken to any Don’t Rush to Flush location or other unaffiliated collection site
      • Controlled medications can be disposed at designated Don’t Rush to Flush locations, unaffiliated collection locations that accept controlleds, or collection events accepting controlleds
      • If you are unsure if your item(s) is accepted, check the bin location map for site-specific information or call the collection site in advance
    • Prepare your medications for deposit
      • Just before drop-off, remove unwanted pills from original container and place into a clear plastic zipper bag. Be especially attentive with zipper bag once pills are removed from child-proof container.
      • Keep liquid, cream, and gel medications in original container and tightly seal to prevent leaking
      • Remove or obscure personal information from prescription containers to protect personal information and recycle empty container. Remove personal information from liquids/creams/gels prior to deposit in the bin.
      • Visit collection location and place plastic zipper bag and liquids, creams, gels directly into the collection bin

Other Ways to Get Involved

  • Follow Don’t Rush to Flush on Facebook and Twitter to stay updated on new locations, special collection events, and other announcements
  • Tell your friends, family, and colleagues about safe medication disposal, local collection locations, and the Don’t Rush to Flush campaign
  • Encourage your pharmacist to host a Don’t Rush to Flush medicine bin
  • Donate – funds will help establish new collection sites and promote the program and are tax deductible

Pharmacists, Medical Facilities, and Health Providers:

  • For each prescription given, counsel patients on prescription adherence, safe storage, and how to dispose of unwanted medications if the patient is unable to complete the prescription
  • Educate patients about the importance of safe storage, to never flush medications due to water quality impacts, and that trashing unwanted medications should only occur as a last resort (e.g. no collection locations available)
  • Promote Don’t Rush to Flush and other local medication collection sites
  • Host a collection bin for unwanted medications – contact for more information
  • Talk to your patients about health regimens that will reduce patient reliance on medications
  • Prescribe starter packs and refill packs whenever possible
  • Review and regularly reassess a patient’s total consumption of medication