Cat Litter Finds Use In Drug Abuse Prevention | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 85 Issue 46 | p. 39 | Concentrates
Issue Date: November 12, 2007

Cat Litter Finds Use In Drug Abuse Prevention

Department: Government & Policy

Americans are now being advised by federal officials to mix their leftover unused medicines with used kitty litter, coffee grounds, or sawdust and put the mixture in a plastic bag in the trash. The goal of this is to prevent the drugs from falling into the hands of those who might abuse the agents. Previously, patients had been told to flush old drugs down the toilet. Under a pilot program conducted by the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), which is part of the Department of Health & Human Services, 6,300 pharmacies will hand out a flyer with each prescription for a highly abused drug urging patients to take the cat-litter step with leftover medicines. "Prescription drug abuse is a serious public health problem, and we must take decisive action against it," says SAMHSA Administrator Terry Cline. SAMHSA will measure the effectiveness of this 26-week pilot program by monitoring Web-based feedback from the public and use that information to determine whether to terminate, continue, or expand this effort.

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