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Stay at Home Organization Projects Should Include Your Medicine Cabinet

Stay at Home Organization Projects Should Include Your Medicine  Cabinet

Everyone is spending more time at home due to the Covid-19 global pandemic.

NPR reports that about one-third of Americans are working from home because of the coronavirus.[1] Your kids may also be at home if their summer programs are cancelled or childcare facility is closed.

All the extra time—and people—at home may inspire you to clean and organize your closets, drawers, and cupboards. Don’t neglect your medicine cabinet during your cleaning spree, and don’t let old medications collect dust. Clean out your medicine cabinet and take any unused or expired medications back to a Nebraska MEDS pharmacy.

A Consumer Reports survey reports that one-third of Americans haven’t cleaned out their medicine cabinet in at least a year, and one-fifth haven’t in three years.[2] This means it’s likely you’ll find unused, expired, and unneeded prescription and over-the-counter medications that you’re not sure what to do with. These medications should be disposed of because:

  • It’s unsafe to reuse medications.
  • Unused medications are often ineffective because they’ve been kept past their expiration date or stored improperly.
  • Unused medication has the potential to fall into the wrong hands, and may lead to drug abuse or accidental poisoning.

In addition to the potential human health impacts of leftover medications, these compounds can contaminate waterways—rivers, lakes, and groundwater—when flushed, put down the drain, or thrown in the trash. Most water treatment facilities do not have the capacity to remove these compounds.

What do I do with my old medications?

Instead of flushing or trashing those old medications, take them to a Nebraska MEDS pharmacy. Over 300 pharmacies across the state accept medications for safe and legal disposal, giving consumers an easy method of keeping medications out of the environment and from falling into the wrong hands. Every day is Take-Back Day in Nebraska.

Since 2016, over 121,000 pounds of medication have been collected by Nebraska pharmacies for safe disposal as part of Nebraska MEDS.  Find a participating pharmacy near you at or Google “drug disposal near me.”

Nebraska MEDS (Medication Education on Disposal Strategies) is a coalition of state and community partners dedicated to educating Nebraskans about drug disposal and provides safe ways to dispose of them to better safeguard the environment and public health. It is funded by the Nebraska Environmental Trust and the Nebraska Legislature. The Coalition includes the Nebraska Pharmacists Association, Groundwater Foundation, Drug Enforcement Administration, Lincoln/Lancaster County Health Department, Lincoln Police Department, Coalition Rx, Lincoln Public School Nurses, LiveWise Coalition, Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality, Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, Nebraska Medical Association, AARP of Nebraska, Nebraska Pharmacy Foundation, Nebraska Regional Poison Center, Safe Kids Lincoln-Lancaster County, KETV, Nebraska Attorney General’s Office, and Nebraska State Patrol.

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