Thursday, April 21, 2016

Disposing of needles at home

Six bucks from Amazon, but
then what?
We have all seen the red "sharps" container in the doctor's office--but what if you self-inject as many do these days for osteoporosis, multiple sclerosis, HIV, hep C, cancer, infertility, allergies, and psoriasis?

Each year, an estimated 8 billion needles are used at home--and this does not include the lancets used for fingersticks for diabetes. The FDA recommends used needles be placed in an approved container and taken to a facility that can properly destroy them.

Unfortunately, these services are not usually available. Some police stations take back drugs but not needles.

At least one hospital, the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, does accept needles as part of its Drive-Through Prescription Drug Take-Back Event. But that is one day and a few hours.

Usually, people who use injectables must use expensive mail-back programs, which can run from $50 to $200, depending on the size of the container.

Yet, putting needles in the trash endangers trash collectors, kids, and caregivers, as well as pets.

Some people use hard plastic laundry detergent bottles--but these, too, must be properly labeled and disposed of.

What is the answer? I don't have one--but didn't you like how I described the problem?

For more ideas, go to safeneedledisposal.com. But don't expect relevations.

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