I am being compensated as part of the CHPA OTC Safety Ambassador Program. All the opinions reflected here are my own.
I have to admit that nothing feels better than a thorough spring cleaning but rather than being hasty, I prefer to be strategic in my purging, targeting different areas of the house to make sure that I’m thorough. There are the obvious areas like expired items in pantries and outgrown kids’ clothes and shoes but how long ago did you go through your bathroom, tossing old makeup and medicine?
In honor of April 26 being the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) National Drug Take Back Day, take some time to go through your medicine cabinet to dispose of expired and unwanted medicine safely.
Working with OTCSafety.org for the past year has taught me a lot about over-the-counter medicine safety including the importance reading and following the labels, being knowledgable about active ingredients in over-the-counter medicines, and why it’s critical to keep all medicine out of reach of small hands to prevent them from being accidentally ingested.
Just as it’s important to keep medicine up and away, it’s also critical to dispose of them safely. A low trash can in an open area of your home that has colorful pills at the bottom can be appealing to young children who can easily reach in and grab expired medicine.
Instead of putting your family at risk, the FDA provides the following tips on the safe disposal of unwanted over-the-counter meds:
- Mix OTC meds with other substances like coffee grinds
- Place them in a sealable bag or empty can before disposing of them.
As part of National Drug Take Back Day, the DEA has a helpful website to assist you in finding local take-back centers that will be collecting medicine on Saturday, April 26. Simply type in your zip code to find a list of nearby locations and the hours that they’ll be accepting prescription and over-the-counter medicines for safe disposal.
Images courtesy of OTCSafety.org and the DEA.