Time for ‘spring clean’ the medicine cabinets

With spring cleaning, one place in the home that is often overlooked is the medicine cabinet. Saturday is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, a reminder that people should clean out unused and unwanted medicine and prescription drugs on an annual basis.

When it comes to medicines, prescription drugs in particular, many medications lose their effectiveness after the expiration date and some may even be toxic.

Bret Aiken, Emergency physician at Banner Churchill Community Hospital, stressed the importance of getting rid of expired prescription drugs and how they can sometimes cause harm.

To further the matter, recent studies by Drugfree.com reveal leftover prescription drugs are not only a source of addiction but can easily end up in the wrong hands. In fact, four out of 10 teens who have misused or abused prescription drugs found them in their parent’s medicine cabinet.

Sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is a national effort to provide people and families options for an environmentally friendly way to get rid of unwanted prescriptions at local drop-off sites. Since its inception, National Prescription Drug Take Back Day has collected more than 3.4 million pounds of pills.

The Fallon Police Department is overseeing the local drop-off site from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. CVS Pharmacy parking lot, 461 W. Williams Ave. in Fallon.

Tips for safe disposal:

Check the dates of everything in your medicine cabinet and discard any items that are past their expiration date.

For prescription drugs, it is recommended to discard any that are over a year old.

Any medications that have changed color or have a bad smell or taste should also be discarded.

Containers that are not properly labeled should be thrown out.

Then throwing out medication:

Take unwanted medicine out of its original container and mix it with a substance like coffee or kitty litter so it cannot be re-used.

Place them in a sealable bag or container to prevent medication from leaking out of a garbage can.

Protect your privacy by removing personal information from the label before discarding.


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