What’s in your medicine cabinet?
I admit it.
I have a small box in my kitchen cupboard filled with leftover bits from several years’ worth of prescriptions.
I think most nurses hold on to leftover drugs thinking that some day they might come in handy. Or maybe I’m just a hoarder. 🤔
Regardless, last weekend I decided to go through the box and see what was in there.
2010 must have been a tough year for my family! I found several pre- and post-op drugs related to my husband’s thyroid surgery that year. And pain pills from my son’s wisdom tooth removal. Even older were antibiotics from a urinary tract infection (why didn’t I finish these?), and unused samples of Mirapex, a drug that treats restless leg syndrome (it didn’t work for me).
With almost 24/7 access to healthcare and pharmacies these days, it doesn’t make sense to hold onto prescription drugs I no longer need. They lose efficacy over time; worse, if they aren’t stored safely, they can be a health hazard to small children or pets.
Related post: First aid for poisoning
Yep. It’s time for me to get rids of these useless old drugs.
Dispose of prescription drugs properly
Drugs should never be flushed down the toilet, or put down the sink or into the garbage. No one wants these drugs going into our landfills or water systems.
Opioid abuse is a hot topic right now, too, with the problem at epidemic proportions. Experts blame the easy access, distribution and theft of prescription pain killers.
Many pharmacies and health centers have drug collection boxes where you can responsibly dispose of your unused medications.
If you can’t find one near you, April 28 is the semi-annual National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, sponsored by the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency).
Go to their website to find participating agencies in your area.
Last October’s Drug Take Back Day netted 456 tons of unwanted medications.
When you remember that roughly 75% of Americans take at least one prescription medication, it’s no wonder that there are so many left unused. (Although considering what they cost, that sure seems like a lot of wasted money.)
Mark April 28th on your calendar and kick off your spring cleaning this year by purging your medicine cabinet!