Use Your Head, Return Old Meds

March 31, 2021

Do you have left over, expired or unwanted medications at home and you’re not sure what to do with them? Use your head, return old meds.

Nga Kete Matauranga Pounamu Charitable Trust’s Māori Public Health Team, Kōrari, are running a campaign to ensure the public are aware of how and where to dispose of old or unused medications. The team have delivered posters to every pharmacy in Murihiku.

He Puna Waiora Wellness Centre Pharmacist Terry Son says returning old or unused medications is important for a number of reasons.

“People can get confused with which medications they need to be taking, and there is a hazard for other family members taking them without knowing what they are and potentially causing harm to them. Returning the medication means you are reducing the potential for harm, keeping your whanau and pets safe, and ensuring the medication doesn't end up in the wrong hands.”

Anyone can drop off their old or unused medications to the pharmacy, where they will be boxed up and collected by InterWaste, who will then dispose of them safely, Mr Son said.

Medications can include anything from pills to liquids and injections, he says.

For people who require the use of at-home injections, the pharmacy will provide a Sharps container, which is to be returned once full and it is also disposed of safely.

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