The deadly consequence of keeping prescription pills around -- and where to dispose of them instead

Posted at 4:39 AM, Oct 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-12 09:38:35-04

Flushing your pills, or just keeping them on hand, could be sharing them with your neighbors. 

Traceable levels of birth control, antidepressants, opioids and illegal substances -- like cocaine -- are being found in drinking water across the United States.

For now, "they are harmless" to humans, according to Dr. Frank Lovecchio with the Banner Poison Drug & Information Center, but highlight a much bigger problem. 

"The number one reason you die from the age 25 to 45 is a drug overdose," he said. Unfortunately, deadly overdoses involving prescription drugs are a "daily occurrence" in the Valley. 

Lovecchio said one-third of people who overdose on prescription medication acquired them from a friend, family member or neighbor. Instead, drugs should be disposed of responsibly. 

How do you properly dispose of prescription pills? Find a designated drop site near you. 

The DEA has a searchable database of locations

Three Banner pharmacies in the Valley also recently installed secure Medsafe containers: 
1. Banner Estrella Medical Center: 9201 W. Thomas Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85037
2. Banner Gateway Medical Center: 1900 N. Higley Rd., Gilbert, AZ 85234
3. Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center: 2646 E Banner Gateway Dr., Gilbert, AZ 85234