Clutter is often a hassle, but a cluttered medicine chest can be a hazard. An accumulated stash of medications is common because…
– We buy medication at a time of need, and then don’t use the whole bottle.
– We are prescribed one that doesn’t work out, and never dispose of the remainder.
– We get a remedy for a particular illness that never recurs.
– We store them all over the house (e.g. kitchens, bathrooms, linen closets, etc.)
– We forget what we have and buy more than we need.
– We aren’t sure what to do with old medicines, so we avoid dealing with them.
Unfortunately, medication is potentially unhealthy if not taken according to directions. Older pills can lose their potency, and some liquids degrade. You may also have heard about people abusing medications that were prescribed for someone else and were left lying around.
The good news is, medication has a built-in tool to help you decide what to keep and what to shed: an expiration date! While some medications remain effective for a short time after the date, most will not provide optimal results. Today’s challenge is to locate nine medicines that need to go. If you are a healthy person, this may be a tough one, as you won’t have much on hand. However, if you have a lot of allergies or illnesses in your family, you have a good shot!
Gather all of your medicines from around the house. Group them by type, and then look at the dates. Set aside any that are expired, and return the rest to a storage location. In addition, feel free to clear your space of any health-related items you no longer want, such as crumpled band-aids, old gauze pads from an accident, expired ointments, unused sharps, etc.
Disposal of medication does take an extra step. Never flush medicines down the toilet or pitch them into the trash. As containers degrade, medicines end up in the water supply. Instead, find a place to recycle your old medication. Many town police departments now collect medication, so this is a good place to start. There are also a number of pharmacies that run recycling programs. Below is a link to the FDA’s guidelines for drug disposal.
Why not hop on this challenge and set your space up for a healthy year? Do you think you’ve got anything that fits this category?