By Jemima Desbrow

More than60 per cent of Australians currently have unwanted medicines in their home according to a new study conducted by Griffith School of Human Services and Social work.

And the majority of respondents (more than 80 per cent) was completely unaware of the Return Unwanted Medicines (RUM) Project. The most common method of disposal was through household garbage.

Funded by the Commonwealth Government, the RUM Project is hailed as a world first in the management and removal of unwanted and out-of-date medicines from the community.

RUM’s new national awareness campaign is being held next week and will ask people to follow three simple steps of READ, REMOVE and RETURN. This is in order to minimise the risk of unintended poisonings and medication mix ups, and do their bit to protect the environment.

The Griffith research team includes chiefinvestigator Professor Amanda Wheeler, from the university’s School of Human Services and Social work.

Researchers conducted an online study of participants in 2016 regarding the RUM Practice.

“The results are worrying, especially as the main cause of concern amongst the public is unintended ingestion and poisoning of children,” says Professor Amanda Wheeler.

“All health professionals should recommend the RUM project to clients,” she says.

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