Did you know that every year on the third Friday in April we recognize National Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet Day? While it may not be something at the top of your mind regularly, it is likely that you have some unused or expired prescription or over-the-counter medications sitting in your cabinets. When left unchecked for months or years, these medications can potentially become a danger for children, relatives, or other visitors to your home. Let us review three reasons to participate in National Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet Day!

1. Medications Can Become Toxic. Medications are made to be safely used before their expiration date. Once they have passed that date, however, the manufacturer cannot guarantee their safety. In addition, some medications may have components break down and become toxic over time when left unused in a packet or a bottle. To avoid anyone using a possibly toxic medication, whether purposefully or by accident, it can be important to dispose of expired medication promptly and safely.

2. Disposing the Right Way is Important. National Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet Day may be the perfect time to dispose of your unused or expired medication the right way, because many medical offices, pharmacies, and civic organizations will have bins placed out for the public to easily get rid of medications. It can be dangerous to just throw pills in the garbage or flush them down the toilet, because they can seep into your water supply, presenting a danger to residents in your area. For much of the year, however, it can also be tough to find a safe disposal bin in a convenient location. On the third Friday in April, bins will be in many safe and convenient locations, making cleaning out a lot easier for you.

3. Our Country is In Crisis. Much of America is struggling with medication addiction, especially opioid addiction. While your own relatives or friends may not have this struggle, your neighbors or other residents of your area could be impacted. If you have medication lying around, you never know who could get into it. If you dispose of it in an unsafe manner, the same issue can apply. Participating in National Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet Day and disposing of medication in the right way keeps your unused or expired medication out of the wrong hands.

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