National Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet Day occurs annually on the third Friday in April. The goal is to raise awareness and effectively rid homes of unused or expired prescription and over-the-counter medications sitting in medicine cabinets, night stands or kitchen cabinets that have the potential for diversion or abuse by family members, friends or visitors to your home.
Your medicine cabinet might be filled with many ticking time-bombs—you just don’t know which drug, when it will happen or who might be affected. You can do your part to dispose of those leftover and unused medications that can lead to misuse, addiction, poisoning or death.
Today, the country is in a pitched battle in the war against opioid addiction. Seventy percent of opioid dependence, overdoses and deaths begin with leftover drugs in the medicine cabinet—a startling statistic speaking directly to the danger of leftover, unused pain prescriptions. But, opioids are just one of the dangerous drugs found lying around our homes. Others, such as antidepressants, muscle-relaxers, ADHD medications and sleep aids remaining in medicine cabinets may result in misuse, diversion, poisoning, abuse, and death. Additionally, some expired medications may become toxic. For instance, studies indicate the commonly prescribed drug tetracycline may degrade to the point of becoming toxic to the kidneys.
How you dispose of your expired or unused medications is just as important as why. Environmental studies have shown that flushed medications flow into our water supply, they negatively impact the fish we eat and the water we drink. When discarded in the trash, medications leach into and contaminate the soil.
Site-of-use, or at-home drug disposal solutions offer a safe, effective and eco-friendly way of ridding your home of medications that are no longer needed or have expired. As a supplement to site-of-use drug disposal on April 19, you may also consider participating in the Drug Enforcement Agency’s (DEA’s) National Drug Takeback Day on Wednesday, April 27.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Everyone is encouraged to take time during National Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet Day to make his or her home safe and do their part to help fight drug addiction. Review medications wherever you keep them—in your medicine cabinet, nightstand or kitchen cabinets, for example—and safely dispose of leftovers from any surgery or illness or those that have expired. You can safely, effectively and easily dispose of these medications by using a site-of-use, in-home disposal solution available online. You can see for yourself how easy and safe it can be.
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