An interesting story on medicines this morning in the San Jose Mercury, entitled "Unused medicine? Mix it with cat litter".
Intrigued? I was.
In order to get rid of old and unused medicines, new government guidelines advise mixing the meds with cat litter, preferably used cat litter. If no cat littler is available, old coffee grounds, dog poo, or sawdust would suffice.
Why all the fuss about proper disposal of meds? The US has seen an increase in prescription drug abuse. Research has cited that more than half the people that abuse drugs obtain them from friends or relatives. Clearing meds from your medicine cabinet can prevent risky usage of the drugs.
Previously, people were advised to flush unused medications down the toilet, but recent evidence of hormones in the environment has caused the FDA and the government to rethink this advice. Another program in the works to deal with leftover drugs includes drug "take-back" programs run by pharmacies or hazardous waste sites.
Bottom line: take care to dispose of your unused drugs.