April 28, 2011 —

Spring means it’s time to do some spring cleaning. When was the last time you cleaned out your medicine cabinet? This is the perfect time to clean out our medicine cabinets to discard of any expired or unneeded medicines. Nearly 40 percent of U.S. households have at least one bottle of expired over-the-counter (OTC) medication in the home. Cleaning out your medicine cabinet gives you the opportunity to take inventory of what medicines you have and how much is left of each. But you also need to know how to dispose of medicines you no longer need safely. This Saturday, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is holding a National Drug Take Back Day. You can dispose of unwanted and unused prescription and OTC medicines by visiting a collection site on Saturday, April 30, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Last year’s effort was a huge success and removed 121 tons of old or unwanted medications from medicine cabinets across the nation. While cleaning your medicine cabinet, it’s important to keep these tips in mind:

  • Keep an inventory of your medicines and let your teens know you are doing it.
  • Know exactly how much medicine is in each bottle or package. You can write down amounts on a piece of paper, or you can mark the bottles or packages directly.
  • Keep all medicines, both prescription and OTC, in a safe place that is high up and out of sight.
  • Properly discard prescription and OTC medicines that you no longer need or that have expired.
  • Share information on preventing medicine abuse with your neighbors and friends.

For more tips on how to monitor, secure, and safely dispose your medicines, visit The Partnership at Drugfree.org website. Do you have other useful tips for cleaning out your medicine cabinet and safeguarding your home? Share them on our Facebook page!