What’s in your medicine cabinet? It’s a good time to take a look inside. Friday, April 16, is National Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet Day. A medicine cabinet packed with old or unused meds can be dangerous. Give yours a good cleaning. These simple steps can help keep your family, friends and neighbors safe. Here are ways you can remove the risk:
Toss it and forget it
You should toss leftover or expired prescriptions and over-the-counter medications. Your old prescription may no longer be effective for your current health condition. Additionally, expired medications may not work as well, or even become toxic and harm you. As a general rule, discard any prescriptions that are more than a year old, or medications that have passed their expiration dates.
How to do it right
Do not flush your pills down the toilet or the sink. They can harm the water supply and affect the fish we eat. Instead, dispose your leftover or expired meds in designated drop-off boxes. Conveniently, the Anne Arundel County Police Department has several locations. District stations are open 24/7, headquarters from 8 am to 4 pm. In Anne Arundel and Prince George’s Counties, you can often take old meds to your local pharmacy for disposal. Throwing meds in the trash can harm the earth. If you must, consider using a secured container or DisposeRX packets.
Let’s look out for each other
Doctors prescribe opioids to treat pain. Common types are oxycodone (OxyContin), hydrocodone (Vicodin) and methadone. Did you know that 70% of people who misuse opioid painkillers get them from friends and relatives? It’s important to safely toss or lock your medications to protect those you care about. We can all do our part to end substance misuse and keep our community safe.
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, there is help including locally at Pathways, Luminis Health Anne Arundel Medical Center’s substance abuse and mental health treatment facility. Call (443) 481-5400.