Sometimes we can get so used to seeing what’s in our medicine cabinet every day that we don’t always notice when things start to get cluttered, and in some cases, potentially dangerous. Particularly if you have pets, children, or even an aging parent in your home, you’ll want to make sure that you’re taking all necessary safety precautions. This will not only create a safer environment for those you love, it also just feels good to create a more organized environment for ourselves!
Because expired medications can create a safety hazard – because of anything from a pet chewing the bottle open to a loss of effectiveness – it’s important to go through your medicine cabinet, purse, car, or anywhere else you may keep medications. This is an especially good time of year to do so, as we prepare for holiday guests.
One of the most significant things to keep in mind is the vital importance of disposing of any expired or otherwise unusable medication properly. Many people think you can (or should) just throw it in the trash or flush it down the toilet. While these are acceptable options in some cases, it is important to know the specific guidelines for each circumstance.
The best option in all cases, when available, is to bring your expired and unneeded medications to a DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) sponsored event or facility to have them dispose of your medicines effectively and safely. You can search via zip code for a local Controlled Substance Public Disposal Location here. You can also find information on National Prescription Drug Take Back Day here.
If a disposal location cannot be found in your area, it is ok to flush some medications down the toilet, such as those that are addictive or those that might prove fatal if someone for whom they were not prescribed were to take them. It’s important to note that these substances do have an effect on the environment though, and it’s only a preferred option when a disposal location can’t be found. https://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/BuyingUsingMedicineSafely/EnsuringSafeUseofMedicine/SafeDisposalofMedicines/UCM588196.pdf.
And if a disposal location cannot be found in your area and it’s not a dangerous or addictive medication, then it is recommended to mix it with something unpalatable – such as used coffee grinds or kitty litter – and throw it in the trash.
If you need any other information, guidance, or help sorting through your medicine cabinet (or any other cabinets, drawers, or closets, for that matter), we at Morgan Organizers are here to help you every step of the way. Give us a call today. 301-787-4010