The water that is used in most households is thoroughly scrutinized to ensure that it is safe for human use. With the thorough monitoring of the water systems, there is perceived water safety, but the water assessment should be extended to incorporate other possible water pollutants such as drugs. There are a variety of means through which drugs can gain entry into the water sources among which is direct deposition, human consumption, and deposition through feces and urine and the flushing of unused drugs down the toilets or drains (Harvard Medical School, 2011). The chemical components of these drugs such as the hormones, antibiotics, and mood stabilizers mix with water and small contents are evident in water sources.
Though most reports suggest that the drug levels in water sources are still too low to pose significant health complications others arguments are contrary and are firm to the notion that the small drug contents may pose some serious health problems. Some of the arguments for the dangers posed by drugs in water are centered on the presence of hormones in water and the implications of drug-contaminated water to children. Hormones can act at a lower concentration; therefore, its presence in a water source can be dangerous to human health. On the other hand, children are more susceptible to environmental exposures due to the lack of a detoxificant system that is present in adults; therefore, they may be more sensitive to the perceived harmless drug contents in water. The presence of drugs in water is an issue of concern and should be resolved through diversified interventions involving different stakeholders.
There are numerous strategies that can be taken in preventing drugs from reaching the water sources among which is the community education on the impact of drugs that enter the water sources and possible solutions to this predicament. According to Kinrys, Gold, Worthington, and Nierenberg (2018), community education via a nurse-centered intervention is vital in tool in availing an insight to the community on proper drug disposal. The nurses can use community notice boards, hold seminars in which they educate the community on appropriate drug disposal through role-playing and use public gatherings such as the churches to spread the news of the essence and means of proper drug disposal.
The nurses can also educate their patients on the appropriate drug disposal mechanism. The parish nurse can also be incorporated in teaching the community on the essence of proper disposal and the deposition methods. The parish nurses fulfill their roles in many ways, and some may incorporate meeting with some of the community members at a family level, they can use such opportunities to educate the community on proper drug disposal. The parish nurses can also incorporate practical drug disposal education as an initiative in fostering holistic care which is among their core objectives.
Though the nurse and the community-centered interventions are vital in reducing drug disposal in water sources, the solution to water pollution by drugs requires a multidimensional response. The nurses can collaborate with communities, the government, and other professionals in resolving water pollution with medications. There are numerous government resources such as the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) which is tasked with the responsibility of regulating and proposing new options for proper disposal of drugs. Some of the drug disposal interventions formulated by the agency include the collection receptacles for medication disposal, medication mail-back programs, and medication take-back programs (Cole, & Ruble, 2016). Nurses can use the latest information from such an agency in educating their patients and the community on the best drug disposal methods. The nurses can also help the agency in coming up with ideas and policies that foster better drug disposal. There are also multiple government designated community pharmacies and locations for proper medication disposals. Nurses can help the community in understanding the essence of such resources and maximize their potential.