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Spring is the perfect season to clean out your medicine cabinet. As we accumulate different medications, it’s important to safely discard expired ones or medications that are no longer needed. To assist with safe disposal of unused medications, UCF is hosting a Drug Take Back event (see details below).

Staying up-to-date with your medications and disposing of them when appropriate is crucial for preventing a medication mishap. Taking the time to clean out your medicine cabinet can prevent you from taking expired drugs and avoid misuse of medication. This not only protects you, but your family as well.

When cleaning out your medicine cabinet, take note of the following:

1. Expiration dates – Any medications that are expired should be properly disposed of immediately.

2. Abnormal color or smell – Medications that appear discolored or have a strong smell should be discarded. Ask your doctor about getting a new prescription for medications you still need.

3. Unmarked containers – Do not store medicine in unmarked containers and don’t fill old bottles with new medication.

4. Dangerous drugs – Dangerous or highly-addictive drugs, such as opioids, should be secured in a location that others can’t access, such as in a locked box.

When it comes to medication disposal, there is a right and wrong way to do it. Never just throw away your medication in the trash can. One option is to take the medication out of its original container and place it in a sealed plastic bag with an undesirable substance, such as kitty litter or used coffee grounds.

To protect your private health information, also remove any personal information on the container by removing and ripping up the labels or blacking out labels with a marker.

Another option is to take your medications to a drug take-back event, where contents will be safely discarded for you.

UCF’s Police Department and Student Health Services are hosting such an event in the UCF Student Union on April 22 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

UCF Drug Take Back Event
When: Monday, April 22 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Where: Student Union, Level 1
What: Bring your medications to be safely disposed (incinerated). Sorry, so liquids accepted. Sharps must be properly stored. There is no cost.

UCF Health offers primary and specialty care from its two office locations in Orlando.

Weekly Health Tips are brought to you by UCF Health, the College of Medicine’s physician practice. Offering primary and specialty care under one roof, UCF Health treats patients age 16 and up in primary care and age 18 and up for specialty care. Most major insurance plans are accepted. Two locations are now open: the original in East Orlando at Quadrangle and University boulevards just blocks from the main UCF campus, and the newest one in Medical City at Narcoossee Road and Tavistock Lakes Boulevard. Information for both facilities can be found at, or call (407) 266-DOCS to schedule an appointment.

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