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A Friday in late April is a great time to fly a kite, smell some spring flowers, play a game of tennis or do some gardening. And it’s also an amazing time to rid that medicine cabinet of any expired prescriptions or over-the-counter drugs. Keep the family safe and take part in National Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet Day!

History of National Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet Day

According to research by Partnership at Drugfree.com, approximately 4 in 10 teens who have misused or abused prescription drugs say that they were found in the medicine cabinets of one of their parents. This could be a painkiller that was leftover from an injury, what’s left of an antidepressant when the doctor made a change in dosage, or some other remaining pills in a bottle.

In addition to those who may intentionally misuse medicines, young children and older adults may be at a high risk of accidental drug misuse. For the elderly, this is especially true when there are a large number of bottles in the medicine cabinet.

National Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet Day was founded in 2019 by DisposeRx with the purpose of encouraging people to get rid of the items in their cabinets that are old or expired. DisposeRx is a company that is working to help people solve the problem of medicine disposal in a safe and effective manner, with an effort to prevent injuries and problems around this issue.

How to Celebrate National Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet Day

Consider some of these ideas for keeping the family safe and observing National Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet Day:

Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet

Whether it’s been quite some time or this is a regularly scheduled task, cleaning out the medicine cabinet is a vitally important part of taking care of yourself and your family. Taking expired medicine or risking someone else getting their hands on some leftover prescriptions can be dangerous or even deadly. Do your own household or an aging parent a favor by cleaning out and properly disposing of any expired or leftover medicines.

Participate in Drug Take Back Programs

One of the reasons people don’t get rid of old medicines is that they often aren’t quite sure how. If unsure, it is okay to call the office of the doctor who prescribed the medicine and ask them for guidance. Many pharmacies also have a drug take-back program in place for easy return of expired medicines. And the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day organized by the DEA happens twice a year, organized through local law enforcement officials.

Learn the Proper Way to Dispose of Drugs

Some medicines can also be disposed of at home. DisposeRx is a maker of at-home disposal packets that can be found at many pharmacies. The FDA also has a list of medicines that are safe for flushing down the toilet, sink or in the household trash. Be sure to take medicines out of the bottle and mix them with something undesirable like coffee grounds or cat litter, and then place them in a sealed bag.

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