Author: Dr Caroline Daly
The safe disposal of unused or unwanted medications is a means by which pharmacists can restrict access to means of suicidal behaviour. Unused or out-of-date medicines can build up in the home for a variety of reasons. Storing these medications long-term is not safe and can result a variety of adverse outcomes including accidental poisonings, intentional overdose, inappropriate sharing of medicines and environmental damage.
In Ireland the Disposal of Unused Medication Properly (DUMP) campaign has run successfully in regions including Cork and Kerry since 2007. In 2007 this campaign resulted in the return of 12 tonnes of pharmaceuticals, and the medicines most commonly returned were those most frequently used as means of suicidal behaviour.
Louise Creed, HSE Pharmacists highlights the importance of the DUMP campaign “We would strongly urge people to take this opportunity to get rid of out of date or unused medicines. Medication can pose a real hazard in the home, particularly to children or other vulnerable people. Clearing out your medicine cabinet is something that should be done on a regular basis. Check all the dates and remove anything that is out of date or no longer required. Medicines have an expiry date for the same reason food does and out of date medicines could do more harm than good.”
From Monday March 14th until Friday April 22nd almost all pharmacies in Cork and Kerry will be taking part in the DUMP campaign. You can return your unused or out-of-date medicines to any Cork and Kerry pharmacy free of charge within these dates.
- You can find more important information regarding safe storage of medications here
- For more information on previous DUMP campaigns please visit here