The American Pharmacists' Association suggests that everyone cleans out their medicine cabinet at least once a year. Why delay?
Here are the APA's "Tips for Storing and Cleaning Out Your Medicine Cabinet or Other Medication Storage Areas:
- Medications should be stored in a secured area – up, away and out of site of children and teenagers - that has low humidity, a stable temperature and adequate lighting.
- Check the date on everything in your medicine cabinet and dispose of anything that has passed the expiration date.
- Dispose of anything you have not used in the past 12 months or that you no longer need. Do not share medications with others.
- Dispose of medicines that are no longer in their original container, have changed color or odor, or that can no longer be identified.
- Do not flush unused or expired medications and do not pour them down a sink or drain. They should be disposed of properly in the household trash or through your community's medication disposal program, when available. Talk to your pharmacist or visit www.smarxtdisposal.net for tips on how to properly dispose of your medications."
It's a fact, according to data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, that nearly one-third of people aged 12 and over, who used drugs for the first time in 2009, began by using prescription drugs non-medically.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports thatn an average 2,000 U.S. teenagers use prescription medication for the first time without a physician's guidance. The same survey found that over 70% of people who abused prescription pain relievers got them from friends or relatives.
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