Why does it matter if you have a few old pills in your medicine cabinet? Because those leftover pills are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. In addition, studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.
There’s also an environmental reason to bring your old prescription medications to a collection site. Flushing pills down the toilet or throwing them in the trash can cause both safety and health hazards.
Since the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) started the take-back initiative, more than 2 million pounds of prescription medications have been removed from circulation.