(NaturalNews) Think about it. We really do all live downstream. Everything we dump down the sink, or flush down the toilet enters our water supply. When you fill that cup from the tap, how many pharmaceuticals do you think are in the water?
Medications are manufactured and sold as over the counter drugs, prescription drugs, and drugs developed for use only within a medical setting (such as vaccines, anesthesia, and drugs used for medical tests). Last year, 4,002,661,750 prescriptions were filled in the United States. Yes, that’s more than 4 billion, 2 million prescriptions. And these were just the prescriptions. Approximately 2.9 billion trips were made to the pharmacy or another retail store to buy over the counter drugs. So all in all, Americans purchased close to 7 billion drugs last year, not counting the medications used in hospitals and clinics.
Unused and Expired Medications
In households, medications accumulate. In the typical medicine cabinet, you will find a combination of drugs:
Medications currently prescribed and taken on a daily or on an as-needed basis.
Medications purchased over-the-counter to be used if/when needed.
Prescriptions partially used due to patient non-compliance or a change in prescription.
And all too often – a full collection of outdated medications!
Prescription and over-the-counter medications are dangerous. If they are not kept under lock and key, the risk of medications being taken by others is great. Small children mimic their parents. Pre-teens and teens experiment. And children of the household are not the only possible culprits. Their friends will surely check out your medicine cabinet, if given the chance. In fact, it isn’t that uncommon for adult visitors to steal a few pills here and there.
Obviously, it is best to dispose of unused and expired drugs, but all too often they are flushed down the toilet. Even if we didn’t dispose of them improperly, drugs would end up in our water. Whatever drugs we take are excreted in urine and feces. This is true for both humans and animals. Now that conventional factory farming has become the standard, these overcrowded, inhumane meat and dairy factories are filled with animals that are injected and fed hormones to speed up growth, and they are fed antibiotics to survive their abysmal, unhealthy conditions. The waste runoff goes into groundwater and contaminates nearby creeks and rivers.
In addition, many medications come in the form of creams and salves. These are also washed down the drain along with all of the chemicals contained in our personal care products, our cleaning supplies, soaps, and laundry detergents.
All chemicals in the water are beginning to be a problem. Though all sorts of pharmaceuticals are found in our water (antibiotics, hormones, psychiatric drugs, heart medications, and more), the experts say the levels are not yet high enough to affect us, but they are high enough to affect aquatic life. This is a problem in itself and also a sure sign that the levels are rising and will soon become a health concern.
Some pharmaceutical companies allow nursing homes and hospitals to return meds. But what are we supposed to do?