National Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet Day occurs annually on the third Friday in April. The goal is to raise awareness and rid homes of unused or expired prescription and over-the-counter medications that may be sitting in medicine cabinets, nightstands, kitchen cabinets or pantries.
Prescription opioid misuse is an ongoing and escalating epidemic, and 70% of opioid dependence, overdoses and deaths begin with leftover drugs in the medicine cabinet. Opioids are just one of the dangerous drugs found lying around our homes. Antidepressants, muscle-relaxers, ADHD medications, sleep aids, blood pressure and heart medications may also be harmful.
Unintended Risks of Unused Medications Include:
- Drug diversion and misuse/abuse
- Accidental ingestions/poisonings
- Medication confusion – which especially effects our senior population
- Antibiotic resistance
At-home drug disposal solutions offer a simple, convenient and effective way of ridding your home of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.
If patients or caregivers have large quantities of leftover medications, they should consider participating in the Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Drug Takeback Day on April 24. A link to the DEA Collection Site Locator (by zip code) can be found here.
How to Participate
Everyone is encouraged to take time during National Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet Day to help remove the risks that leftover medications pose for patients, as well as their families and friends.
Review medications wherever you keep them – in your medicine cabinet, nightstand, kitchen cabinets or pantries. And don’t forget your pet medications! Dispose of unused or expired medications using an at-home disposal solution, such as DisposeRx packets. More than 50% of chain pharmacies stock DisposeRx packets behind the pharmacy counter, so ask your pharmacist for a packet.
Get the Word Out!
Do your part to safely dispose of unused medications! Help us create awareness of National Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet Day by posting the graphics below in advance of or on April 16 with the hashtag #CleanOutMedsDay. We also encourage you to post photos of you disposing of medications using #CleanOutMedsDay.
Share the DisposeRx Safe Medication Management Infographic
We know that prompt and proper disposal have been an afterthought, and we are working to bring awareness to the risks associated with unused medications, as well as educate and change behavior.
Become a DisposeRx Community Outreach Partner!
DisposeRx is committed to the eradication of unused medications. As part of these efforts, we work with addiction support organizations, civic groups, churches, foundations, health departments, law enforcement agencies and many other to support education and eradication programs.
If you represent a 501(c)3 organization and are interested in applying for a donation of DisposeRx packets, please complete and submit our Community Outreach form.
National Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet Day History
National Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet Day was started in 2019 by DisposeRx to raise awareness of the risks associated with keeping leftover or expired prescription or over-the-counter medications in the home. Drug addiction, overdose, poisonings and deaths related to leftover medications are real and so is contamination of the environment from flushing medications or putting them in the trash. DisposeRx provides a safe, convenient and effective way to dispose of expired and unused medications.