At a meeting earlier this week we were talking about the distinction and overlap between emergency preparedness and general safety messages.
I feel that today’s 30 Days task, which centres around medication past it’s expiry date, is towards the general safety end of the spectrum. That’s not to say it’s not important, just that it doesn’t ignite my passion! Here’s how today’s points are allocated…
1 Pt: Share a resource in how and where to dispose of old medications properly.
.2 Pts: Clean out your medicine cabinet and properly dispose of old medications.
BONUS: Clean out your refrigerator while you are at it!
Being the vision of health, there isn’t much medication lying around my house…but I can confirm that all drugs are legal and in date! As I felt that was a bit of a cop out I forwarded the challenge to my parents, who rattle if you shake them!
Whilst waiting to hear back from them (after bagging a bonus point for throwing away what I think was a cucumber from my fridge) I had a quick google of what you’re supposed to do with medications which are no longer needed or out of date. The official guidance in the UK is that all medications should be returned to your local pharmacist (who, I found out, are also obliged to accept waste sharps). The reasons for this are listed as
- Provides a simple accessible solution for the public
- Reduces the volume of medicines stored in people’s homes, thus reducing the risk of accidental poisonings
- Reduces risk of exposure to unwanted medicines disposed of by non-secure methods
- Reduces the environmental damage
I then received confirmation that a 12 month out of date tube of Ibuleve has been appropriately disposed of.
Whilst I understand that encouraging day-to-day safety can help develop emergency resilience, I’m surprised that the focus of this task wasn’t more along the lines of making sure Grab Bags contain either a small supply or written details of any prescription medicines…hopefully we can get back to the Emergency end of the spectrum in the next task!