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At a white elephant party I attended a few years ago, by far the most popular item—amid the scented candles and picture frames—was a half-full bottle of codeine, brought by a friend who figured her old meds could provide someone with a bit of holiday cheer. This might not have been the most ethical (or legal) way to dispose of a prescription medication. But I remember wondering, "Well, what should you do with unused prescriptions?" If you flush the stuff, does a fish somewhere downstream end up stoned? So I poked around a bit to find out exactly what the deal is.
Can I toss my extra prescription meds down the toilet? As recently as a few years ago, that was the default. But now pretty much everyone agrees it's a bad idea, because some of the more than $230 billion worth of prescription drugs used by Americans every year will make it through the sewage treatment process and into the waterways.
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