Ditch Drugs Safely
A prescription drug disposal how-to guide.
First, step away from the toilet. An investigation by the Associated Press earlier this year suggested that flushing old meds may have contributed to traces of drugs like acetaminophen and antibiotics showing up in more than 80 percent of the drinking water in the U.S. Just say no to this accidental pollution by asking your pharmacist about a "take back" program in your area — 10 states currently have drop-off locations for unused drugs (go to www.teleosis.org/gpp-resources.php for a list). Or follow these guidelines from the Department of Health and Human Services for pitching your pills at home: Take the drugs out of their original containers, mix them with coffee grounds or kitty litter (to keep pets and other animals from snacking on the stash), put the blend in a sealable can or bag, and throw it in the trash.