WASHINGTON Federal officials suggest that the best way to get rid of your excess prescription medications is to dump them in kitty litter.
A government experiment is set to send that advice to thousands of patients who use potent painkillers, sleeping pills and other controlled substances, according to the Associated Press.
The pilot project, launched by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, will execute the kitty litter strategy, deemed more environmentally conscious than flushing them down a toilet.
The concept, officials said, lessens the likelihood that the country’s water system would be contaminated, and to avoid dangers of ingestion by children and pets, if medications are placed in the trash or in reachable places.
So far, a total of 6,300 pharmacies around the country have signed up for the pilot project, in which pharmacists will provide patients (who fill prescriptions of abuse-prone medicines) with a flyer about the kitty litter concept.
Alternate ways to dispose of the medicine are old coffee grounds, animal feces or sawdust.
According to research, prescription drug abuse is on the rise, and more than half of people who misuse those drugs get them for free from a friend or relative. “We don’t want to assert that this is a panacea for the larger problem,” says SAMHSA’s Dr. H. Westley Clark. “It just provides them with a caveat that these are not things you can just lay around.”