Americans Use Expired Medicine To Avoid Visiting the Doctor

In Education

With growing awareness of the opioid crisis in America, it is surprising that many Americans are okay with prescribing medicine for themselves. More surprising is that nearly half (49%) also stock up on old medicine, sometimes expired, to avoid making a doctor’s appointment.

These figures are a result of a new survey conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Covanta. The poll was aimed at analyzing American’s prescription medication habits. Over 2000 Americans were involved in the poll.


A slight majority (54%) of Americans feel that they don’t need a doctor to prescribe medicine for a mild health issue. Half of them have even gone as far as prescribing medicine for family and friends. More surprisingly, some of these respondents even offered them their old medicine stash. Researchers found that 75% of leftover pills and bottled medicine in most people’s stash are expired to perspective how dangerous this is.

More than half of the respondents admitted that they don’t know what to do with old medicines, while 58% said they keep their old medicine just in case they need it in the future. The research also reveals that these respondents are not afraid of the health implications of using medicine beyond its expiration date.

Flushing down environmental conservation

The pol also showed that a whopping 63% of the respondents dispose of old prescription drugs at home. Almost 6 in 10 of the respondents said they threw old medicine into the trash without considering whether it will end in a landfill or with someone else. Another 58% believe that flushing old medicines down the sink or toilet is the ideal disposal method with no regard to where they’ll end up and probably pollute water sources. Three-quarters of the respondents who use these methods also admitted to knowing their effect on the environment and its danger to groundwater and other water sources.

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