When is the last time you looked in your medicine cabinet, made sure you have up-to-date prescriptions, and cleaned your expired items out? If you have recently added CBD products, essential oils, supplements or other natural healing items to your health routine, now is a good time to organize your health and wellness supplies, as well as your prescription and over-the-counter medications, to keep yourself and your family safe and in good health.
Don’t panic. It’s easier than you think to get all your products organized.
Sorting Out Your Medical and Health-Related Supplies, Products, and Prescriptions
- First, go around your home and check each bedroom, bathroom, and the kitchen. Look for medications and other health-related items and decide whether they need to be in those locations or if one central location would be safest.
- In each place in your home where you store prescription or over-the-counter medications, supplements, and other health-related items, take everything out where you can see it.
- Look at the expiration date on each label. All medicines and many other supplements and health-related items have a shelf life after which time they should be thrown away. After the expiration date, their safety and efficacy can no longer be guaranteed by the manufacturer. If these items are in their original containers the expiration date should be on the label somewhere (usually in very small print). If they have been repackaged by your pharmacist, call your pharmacy and ask for shelf life guidelines. If you can’t identify something or have no idea how old it is, best practice is to get rid of it and start over.
- All medicines that have expired must be placed separately from any other items because they must be disposed of properly. Never flush unwanted prescription down the toilet. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) researches how prescription drugs affect U.S. waterways.
- The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has authorized collectors who can be trusted to dispose of your expired medicines securely and responsibly. Often, these sites are the pharmacies at retail stores, hospitals, and clinics. They may have a dropbox handy for disposal. In some locations, the local law enforcement agency is an authorized collector. Call 1-800-882-9539 or visit the DEA website to find a location. Some pharmacies will also assist you in mailing the drugs for disposal.
- If you are unable to deposit the prescriptions as stated above, mark out all your personal information, place the items in a sealed bag, and put them in your trash can.
- Once you are ready to place your new products back into the clean cabinet, try to organize by product use. For example, create a section for colds, first aid, and supplements and natural health aids such as CBD oil.
- You may want a separate container for essential oils, such as plastic bin or drawer organizer so that you can pull them all out together in order to find the right one.
- Have your doctor, hospital, and any other emergency numbers on a card pasted to the door of the medicine cabinet for quick reference.
- Consider using different colored highlighters to mark each family prescription label by color so you can easily tell which medications belong to which person. You can also create separate bins of medicines for each person.
- You may want to create a section in your kitchen for all your special health-related items: honey, essential oils, powder protein, CBD oil, etc. However, make sure these products and any spices you may have, are not near the oven or stove top. Heat can destroy these items.
- Another point to remember is to be sure you keep emergency items on hand: medicines such as Epi-pens for an allergic reaction, a first aid kit, and extra water should be placed in a special area in your home.
- Along with this thought of poison, make sure all medicines, CBD, essential oils, etc. are out of any child’s reach. This includes cleaning products, especially washing machine or dishwasher pods. These can be extremely harmful, but sometimes look like candy to a child.
- Share with your spouse, any other adults in the home, and your older kids where the new products have been stored and how you have organized health and wellness products.
Take your health care seriously by keeping your prescriptions, medicines, and natural products up to date and in a safe place.
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