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The fourth National Prescription Take-Back Day, run by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), is this Saturday, April 28, from 10:00-2:00. This program was created to give people a safe way to dispose of expired or unwanted prescription (Rx) drugs. Review your prescription meds. Bring those you no longer want to a take-back day dropoff location. No questions asked — the service is anonymous and free. For more information, visit the DEA’s Web site.

The take-back events are popular with the public. The total for the last three events? Nearly 500 tons, or almost one million pounds, were collected!

There is an obvious need for a more convenient, safe way to dispose of meds. The DEA has been working on it. However, until one is finalized, its take-back days will continue every few months. Also, check with your pharmacist; some will take back drugs for safe disposal or may know of other disposal sites.

In most cases, do NOT flush medications down the sink or toilet. Tests show that trace amounts of Rx drugs already are present in our water supply.  But, according to the FDA, so far scientists have found no harmful effects on human health.

When no drug take-back day is available and until government regulations are in place, here are disposal tips from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Disposal in Household Trash

1.  Mix medicines (do NOT crush tablets or capsules) with an unpalatable substance such as kitty litter or used coffee grounds
2.  Place the mixture in a container such as a sealed plastic bag
3.  Throw the container in the trash

Disposal by Flushing

A small number of medications may be harmful, sometimes fatal, if even a single dose is taken by someone else. These should be flushed down the sink or toilet.  For a list of these meds, go to FDA’s Web site.

Get rid of medicines after their expiration date. Did you know, for example, aspirin becomes toxic by one year after the expiration date?  When in doubt, throw it out.

Keep children, family members, pets and outdoor animals safe.

Product of the Month

Brown Sugar Bear


I’ve organized many kitchens since 2000!  Sometimes my clients find food items in the pantry or cabinets got hard — items that should be soft, such as brown sugar. I just learned of a product that fixes the problem (but have not tried it yet). It’s called Brown Sugar Bear. Soak it in water and, in addition to brown sugar, it keeps cookies, cakes and dried fruit moist for up to six months. Conversely, when heated in the oven, it keeps camera and electronic equipment and spices dry, and chips and crackers crispy. The bears are reusable.  You can buy it for $3.99 at Bed Bath & Beyond.

Quote of the Month

It has been my observation that people are just about as happy as they make up their minds to be.  ~Abraham Lincoln

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