Spring Cleaning Your Medicine Cabinet: Disposing of Prescription Drugs Properly

With the start of spring comes the dreaded spring cleaning. For some reason, the warmer weather makes us feel renewed and ready to tackle that cleaning and organizing around the house we’ve been thinking about all winter long. We clean things we don’t normally clean on a regular basis, like the medicine cabinet.

How many of us have expired over-the-counter drugs in our medicine cabinets? How many have leftover prescription drugs from an injury or illness that we just don’t know what to do with? Most of us do. But most of us don’t know how to get rid of these drugs.

With the rise in prescription drug abuse in America, we all need to be aware of the potential danger in our medicine cabinets. Research has suggested that many of those who misuse prescription drugs obtain the drugs from a friend or relative, whether that person realizes it or not.

Recently, the government has warned against flushing old medications down the toilet, a practice that was once recommended. Apparently, antibiotics, hormones and other drugs are being found in the water supply. Throwing old drugs out in the trash is an option, but there is a risk that children, pets or an addicted person might get to the drugs through the trash.

Though it’s tough to find a clear answer to the proper disposal question, many suggest mixing old medications with something “yucky” like cat litter to make them less appealing when you throw them away. Some pharmacies and hospitals also have “take-back” days where people can bring their leftover meds for proper disposal. Either way, it is important to make these unused drugs inaccessible to children and others to avoid misuse.

Article from CNN.com: “Don’t toss old meds — make them yucky

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