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Medicine & Needles
Safe Medicine Disposal
Why Flushing Medicine is a Bad Idea
Medicines that are flushed down the drain eventually end up in the San Francisco Bay where they can harm marine life. Small concentrations of prescription drugs (such as hormones, antidepressants, and antibiotics) and over-the-counter drugs (such as pain relievers, antiseptics, and cold and flu remedies) have been detected in waterways nationwide. Waste water treatment facilities are not designed to remove these chemicals.
Even tiny amounts of medicines have a demonstrated negative effect on wildlife. Antidepressants in particular, which have been found in many waterways, have caused abnormalities in fish reproductive cycles. As the use of pharmaceuticals grows, this problem is increasingly of concern. While the issue is being studied worldwide, the City of San Francisco is working to develop the most convenient and effective program possible to prevent the flow of pharmaceuticals into the Bay.
What Should You Do?
San Francisco has a new pilot program funded by grants from pharmaceutical manufacturers. You may visit one of the following participating pharmacies for proper disposal of expired or unwanted medicine. These sites do not accept needles!
Torgsyn Discount Pharmacy Inc.
5614 Geary Boulevard San Francisco, CA 94121
5199 Geary Boulevard San Francisco, CA 94118
1508 Franklin Street San Francisco, CA 94109
Four Fifty Sutter Pharmacy
450 Sutter Street #712 San Francisco, CA 94108
Clay Medical Pharmacy
929 Clay St # 103 San Francisco, CA 94108
Golden Gate Pharmacy
1844 Noriega Street San Francisco, CA 94122
Post Divisadero Medical Pharmacy
2299 Post Street San Francisco, CA 94115
1101 Fillmore Street San Francisco, CA 94115
4071 18th Street San Francisco, CA 94114
Visitacion Valley Pharmacy
100 Leland Avenue San Francisco, CA 94134
943 Geneva Avenue San Francisco, CA 94112
Central Drug Store
4494 Mission Street San Francisco, CA 94112
To learn more about the program, call:
Public Utilities Commission
Recycle AIDS Medication Program (RAMP):
If you have medications (sealed or opened) that are unexpired or up to one year out of date, you may donate the medications to the Recycle AIDS Medication Program (RAMP). This program is not limited to AIDS medications. For more information, visit RAMP or call (415) 285-0606.
Safe Needle Disposal
Because needles are also a physical hazard, they must be placed in special containers for disposal. Most San Francisco Walgreens offer free needle containers. Walgreens also accepts needle containers for disposal, once they are filled.
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