Cleaning Out the Medicine Cabinet

April 30 is the official "National Prescription Drug Tack Back Day" and as good a time as any to clean out those medicine cabinets! But how exactly do you get rid of prescriptions and other medications?

I always start cleaning with good intentions. But then I get so side tracked by some minuet detail that I don't end up getting much done. I'm a sucker for really organizing things (not just hiding things - my husband's way of cleaning) and I'm also a sucker for figuring out how to properly get rid of things instead of just throwing everything in the garbage.

So when I decided I had to clean out the medicine cabinet - I knew I also needed to find a proper disposal place for prescription drugs and OTC medications. Rule number one - which I know from working with water districts - DO NOT flush them. 

I pulled everything out of the medicine cabinets at our house and went over to my parents to clean out theirs as well. I even picked up some expired medicine from some friends - since I figured I was already making the trip. Anything expired (or prescriptions we no longer need) I put in a bag. I made a list of what we would need to replace and used a sharpie to black out any personal information on the prescription bottles.

After I had all the medications I wanted to get rid of together, there is a list of public disposal location on the national website - but I found this pretty outdated. Many of the places I called said they didn't take medication drop offs. So I ended up looking locally at my county website and found the state had a website at Don't Rush to Flush. I went to the near by Safeway and in the pharmacy section that had a green bin for me to drop all the prescriptions into. 

Honestly, the whole process was a lot easier than I expected and now my medicine cabinets aren't over crowded with things we don't need anymore or expired medications. Where ever you go just make sure you read the rules on how they want to receive them before heading over. Some places specifically want things in their original container while others just want you to empty all the medication into a plastic bag.

There might be local events in coordination with National Prescription Drug Tack Back Day - so check with your county as well. But this quick clean is easy enough to do any day of the year when you have a spare 10 minutes.

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