If you’ve ever had surgery, there’s a good chance that you have a partially used bottle of prescription pain medication in one of your bathroom cupboards.
Pain medications known as opioids are often prescribed for a sudden, acute episode of pain that occurs after surgery or a traumatic injury, such as a broken bone.
Many people who have been prescribed opioids hang on to any leftovers, just in case they need them in the future. But this practice can have deadly consequences if children or pets accidentally ingest these drugs.
That’s why officials with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommend that people dispose of leftover opioids as quickly as possible. There are many methods of disposal, including flushing them down the toilet if other options aren’t availble.