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The Dangers of the Family Medicine Cabinet! Lawmakers Enlist Pharmacists to Fight Against Prescription Drug Diversion

Prescription medications supplied by the family medicine cabinet are often a teen’s introduction to hard drug abuse. Convincing people to safely dispose of these unused prescription medications is such a priority for Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller that he’s written a bill that proposes drop off points for outdated medications in every pharmacy in the state, hoping to supersede federal requirements that demand that a law officer be present to receive these types of medications.

Should you flush them, chuck them…keep them there for a rainy day?!? If you’ve ever wondered what to do with prescription drugs that are expired or you no longer use, you are not alone – but in Indiana, the answer to your uncertainty may soon be coming to a pharmacy near you.

Indiana’s Attorney General, Greg Zoeller has just written a bill that he hopes to turn into a state law mandating that pharmacies create safe disposal drop off sites for people’s unwanted pharmaceuticals – and although federal law requires that a law officer be present for such receivables, Zoeller’s bill will bypass that requirement as it enlists pharmacists as front line soldiers in the fight against prescription drug diversion.

With prescription drug addiction second only to alcohol addiction in sheer numbers, there can be little debate about the need to reduce access to those who might experiment with, or abuse, unwanted or outdated medications. The new law would help to curb whose hands these unwanted drugs fall into, as it also makes sure the medicines are properly disposed of through incineration. 

Rep. Kevin Mahan, R-Hartford City is also sponsoring the bill. Prior to his position at the House of Representatives, he was a County Sheriff in Blackford. He is passionate about the bill after witnessing damage caused by unused prescription drugs including accidental overdoses, suicides and even kids selling the unused drugs at school.

Environmentalists are also in favor of the bill because of the pollution caused by people flushing their old tablets and syrups down household toilets, which in turn threatens wildlife and fish by contaminating their water.

Activists hope that House Bill 112 will garner strong support and influence states within the US that do not already have pharmaceutical disposal laws in place.

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