Spring cleaning. It’s a rite of the season, from closets to the garage to the garden. An important area to consider adding to the list: the medicine cabinet. It’s easy to stuff it full of medications and bandages, but leftover prescription medications can cause harm if they aren’t properly disposed. Here are five tips to safely and effectively spring clean the medicine cabinet and properly dispose of medications, including:
- Remove nearly empty bottles of over-the-counter medications, especially liquids if there isn’t enough left for a full dose.
- Discard improperly stored medications as they may have evaporated over time, making them more concentrated and dangerous. Remove drugs that were not sealed or stored properly.
- Safely dispose of old, expired and leftover prescription pills, liquids and patches that are no longer being used. Rather than throw away or flush old medications, using the Deterra Drug Deactivation System is an environmentally responsible way to safely deactivate and dispose of medications so they don’t end up in the landfill, water supply – or the wrong hands. The Deterra System features a pouch containing MAT12, a proprietary activated carbon that bonds to pharmaceutical compounds when water is added, rendering unwanted drugs ineffective for misuse and safe for disposal and the environment quickly. Simply place pills, liquid or patches in the pouch, add water, seal and throw away.
- As you’re rearranging items after cleaning out the medicine cabinet, be sure to place prescriptions out of reach of young children and pets. If you have adolescents living at home or visitors frequently stay with you, consider locking up prescription painkillers – especially opioids such as codeine, fentanyl, hydrocodone, oxycodone and naloxone. These prescriptions are highly sought after for those who abuse drugs.
- Make sure to remove any identifying information from labels after getting rid of the meds inside of them.
For more information and to purchase the Deterra System for your home or health care facility, click here.