Are you planning to celebrate National Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet Day on the third Friday in April, by helping your aging parents clean out their medicine cabinet? Did you know that proper disposal of unused or expired medicines can be important, both for the health of your parents and for the environment? Medications left in the medicine cabinet of your aging parents past the expiration date or their shelf life, or disposed of improperly, can be a danger to your parents. We would like to share more with you about medicine cabinet safety.

Your aging parents may not know of any family members or friends who may face any issues with abuse of medications. However, there may be loved ones or friends visiting the home of your aging parents who do struggle with these issues and they may gain access to the medicine cabinet of your parents. You may think the medicine cabinet of your parents is safe because it does not contain any opioids, but 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 important to keep your aging parents’ medicine cabinet protected, and dispose of medications past their prime.

If you need to dispose of any medications, there are proper ways and laws to do so. Medications thrown into the garbage leak into the soil at landfills and contaminate the area. Flushing medications down the toilet should never be an option because if you flush medications they can become part of the water supply which can have ill effects on drinking water, and on aquatic life in your area. In fact, in the worst case scenario 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.

Here is some good news for you and your aging parents on National Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet Day when you get the medicine cabinet organized and collect medications for disposal. Shortly after, on National Drug Takeback Day, many civic organizations, in addition to medical offices and pharmacies, may have bins in public areas to dispose of your unused or expired medications by placing them directly into these bins. The authorities can then dispose of them properly.

At the Perlin Estate Planning & Probate our credentials enable us to provide a multi-disciplinary approach to our legal services. By building relationships with our clients, we are also able to understand each client’s needs and desires, and we support such goals through thoughtful, comprehensive planning techniques. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting.