In 2016, drug overdoses killed 63,632 Americans according to the CDC and that number is steadily climbing. While the epidemic is being fought across the nation to stop drug use and overdoses, there is some hope thanks to Naxolone (Narcan) which can stop an overdose caused by an opioid drug as it is happening.

This life saving opioid receptor antagonist is a medication that when given to someone experiencing an overdose, can block the effects before death ultimately occurs. It can also be used to help decrease the risk of misuse.

To administer the drug, a 1-1.5 inch needle is used and up 1cc of naloxone is added into the syringe and then injected into a muscle.

Because the drug has helped to save so many lives, it’s now available over the counter in a number of states.

With the medication making its way into more homes, the question becomes what to do with all the sharps once they are used. 

Here are tips on properly disposing of Narcan/Naxolone sharps.

Handling Home Sharps

Just as with sharps for medications to treat diabetes or other diseases, these should be disposed of carefully and discreetly. You may toss them in with the rest of solid waste trash but they should be collected in a non-pierceable and sealed plastic container. An empty laundry detergent bottle will do. Once it is ¾ full, close the lid tight, be sure to label it with “do not recycle” and toss in the trash.

Using Drop Off and Collections

Some states and municipalities also offer safe drop off locations for medical waste. These processing locations typically will accept used sharps and other medical waste and collect it for proper disposal by charging a small fee. You should check with your local area to see if there are any upcoming dates for a collection and also what the rules are for proper storage of used sharps before dropping off.

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