Have you ever thought about helping your aging parents clean out their medicine cabinet? Is it an important task? Yes! In fact, it is such an important task that we now celebrate National Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet Day on the third Friday during the month of April. Did you know that proper disposal of unused or expired medication can be important both for human health and our environment? Medications left in your medicine cabinet past their expiration date or disposed of improperly, can be a danger to your family, friends, and neighbors. We would like to share more with you.

Your aging loved ones may not have any close family with issues regarding the abuse of medications, but they may have loved ones or friends who visit their home and have access to their medicine cabinet, who do struggle with these issues. Thinking their cabinet is safe because it does not contain any opioids may not be true because opioids are not the only problem. Medications like ADHD medicine, sleeping pills, and antidepressants can be misused and cause poisoning that may be fatal. It is, therefore, very important to assist your aging parents in keeping their medicine cabinet protected, and disposing of medications past their expiration date.

Careful, though, you cannot simply throw unused or expired medications into the garbage and it can actually be against the law in many areas. The reason is because medications thrown into the garbage leak into the soil at landfills and contaminate the area. However, do not decide to flush medications down the toilet instead, this can be even worse. When flushing medications down the toilet, it can become part of the water supply. This, in turn, can have ill effects on drinking water, and on aquatic life in your area. It can even get into the bloodstream of fish and shellfish, causing even more harm to humans and other sea animals who consume these creatures.

There is good news! Start with National Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet Day, and get organized and collect medications for disposal. Next up is National Drug Takeback Day, a day in which many civic organizations, in addition to medical offices and pharmacies, may have bins in public areas. It can be convenient and easy to dispose of your unused or expired medications by placing them directly into these bins. The authorities can then dispose of them properly.

At David H. Jacoby Elder Law Advocate, P. A., we are focused on providing thorough, ethical, and timely solutions for our clients and their loved ones. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with us.