People are being urged to return out of date or unused prescription medication, particularly opioids, to pharmacies to avoid misuse, addiction, danger to children or pets or becoming a victim of theft.
The call-out was made by the Therapeutic Goods Administration and pharmacies in Orange have disposal bins available.
According to the TGA, there are more deaths and poisoning hospitalisations from legal pain relievers or opioids than illegal opioids such as heroin, and in Australia almost 150 people are hospitalised each day due to opioid harm.
Peter Smith Terry White Chemmart Pharmacy pharmacist Tim Gray said it was particularly important for people to hand in schedule two, three, four and eight medications for safe disposal.
If for some reason they need the medication down the track they should go to the doctor.Pharmacist Tim Gray
"It's a free service," he said.
"We have a huge amount of medication returned but the push at the moment is to make sure people check their medicine cabinet and return anything out of date."
Mr Gray said when it came to opioid pain medications and controlled drugs that were listed under schedule eight such as buprenorphine, fentanyl, and oxycodone, the police would be called to destroy the drugs and make sure they were not misused.
He said it was important people didn't hang on to medications for later use.
"If for some reason they need the medication down the track they should go to the doctor," Mr Gray said.
"The reason we want them to return it is to make sure they don't end up being misused and so the patient doesn't end up becoming a target.
"There's been reports of people going to older people's houses to obtain opioids for their own use.
"They are a drug of addiction so we don't just want them to be lying around."
As well as crime prevention and avoiding drug misuse or danger, Mr Gray said by disposing of the medication at pharmacies it would also reduce environmental impacts.
He said the drugs would be destroyed in a controlled environment so would not carry the risks of pollution or poisoning wildlife that flushing or throwing in the bin could have.
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