Drugs And Its Effects On Our Environment

864 WordsJul 20, 20154 Pages
When you have a headache, what is the first thing you think to do? The average American will reach for a bottle of aspirin, or ibuprofen. What about when you have allergies or a sore throat? Do you run to the pharmacy and see what you can grab over the counter to alleviate the discomfort? We live in a microwave society where people want quick and easy solutions to every problem. Although pharmaceuticals can sometimes provide that quick and easy effect, many people are ignoring the various consequences. One of the first consequences to take into account is that most medicines do not heal the root of the problem; medicines only temporarily mask the problem. If you think about it this way, using pharmaceuticals puts you in a never ending cycle for a quick fix. The second consequence that so many people ignore is the effect that these drugs have on our environment. Too often unused medicine finds its way to our environment through excretion or direct disposal (Pharmaceutical Waste). Excretion is when a human or animal rids itself of the waste products, primarily by using the bathroom, and direct disposal includes throwing away unused pills or flushing unused medication. A report given by the UK Water Industry Research showed that several of common drugs found in the sewage system included the anti-inflammatories ibuprofen and diclofenac, the antibiotics erythromycin and oxytetracycline, and the female sex hormone 17b-estradiol (Owen 2015). When these drugs are found in the
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