National Problem - Sharps
- Each year, over 10 billion sharps are used in the United States and 90% of them are disposed of in the garbage, flushed down toilets, or dropped in the streets.
- According to the Food and Drug Administration, approximately 850,000 people receive needle stick injuries outside of the healthcare system. This is costing local municipalities $850 million annually.
- Sharps can carry communicable diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis C.
- No National Regulation is in place for sharps disposal.
National Problem - Medication
The improper disposal of medications poses a great risk to our community and to our environment. According to the Modern Medicine Network, "more than four billion prescriptions are written annually in the United States and up to 40% of drugs dispensed outside hospitals go unused, generating approximately 200 million pounds of pharmaceutical waste each year."
They also found that "unused pharmaceuticals are a leading cause of accidental poisonings, contributing to an 80% increase in U.S. deaths from accidental overdose of narcotics between 1999 and 2005." Medications left at home or improperly disposed of can become an easy target for teenagers and pose a great risk to children.
Medications disposed of in the trash often ends up in our environment. This means it can even end up in our drinking water. Absorbed into soil, plants, and animals can be affected. Medications flushed down the drain or toilet end up in the sewer system, which current technology does not have the ability to fully purify. The MMN reports that studies have found waste pharmaceuticals in the drinking water of more than 50 million Americans.
What can you do to help prevent this in your commuity? Find out how the medication disposal Zeedle can remove the danger of unwanted medications below.
- The overdose rate in the majority of the United States has increased by 40% in the past 5 years.
- 75% of overdose deaths are related to prescription pain killers and 25% to an injectable drug such as heroin.
- There is no National Regulation on residential drug disposal.
- Improper disposal of medications can fall into the hands of drug addicts, children and/or pets.