Health Focus of the Month

Health Focus highlights the latest information and resources on health care and trends.  Check out
the resources or a book to learn more about maintaining good health habits. 

Healthy Habit: Clean Out that Cabinet!
Many of us use the arrival of spring to begin a deep cleaning of our home.  Kitchen cabinets are cleared of expired foods, bathrooms get a good scrubbing, our closets are freed of worn, outdated clothing and we clear out the clutter all around our homes.  However, we may not give much thought to clearing out the medicine cabinet. In light of the heroin epidemic in the country, and the improper disposal of our expired meds, it’s a good idea to give the medicine cabinet a good clearing and re-stocking.

  1.  Take stock of medications.   Expired medications (pills) should be disposed of properly. DO NOT flush them down the toilet.   Take them to a secure drop off site like a local police department.  Remove the labels or scratch off all identifying information from the bottles and place them in the bins provided. They will be disposed of safely. Liquids can be mixed with materials like coffee grounds or kitty litter and disposed of in your trash in a sealed plastic bag.


  1.  Restock the basics.  Keep some of the basic ‘first aid’ items nearby such as bandages, cough syrup, antacids, antibiotic ointments for wounds or insect bites, rubbing alcohol, baby aspirin and medications for nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.  


  1. Consider moving your medicine cabinet. Most of us have our medicines and supplies in the bathroom-, which is considered by many authorities as ‘the worst possible place’ because of the humidity.  Some alternative locations are bedrooms or the kitchen.  Keep medications secure- away from temptation.  Easy access to prescription drugs has contributed to an epidemic of drug overdoses in the United States. 


  1. Do not give medications to friends or family.  Doctors prescribe these medications based on their patients’ specific medical conditions, symptoms and medical history.


  1. Keep the Poison Control Center phone number nearby 1-800-222-1222.  A copy of a first aid manual will come in handy during emergencies.   Call 911 for all medical emergencies. 

For more information about safe drug disposal, call the Summit County ADM Board at 330-434-91444.   The Barberton Police Department has a safe drop off box in the lobby: 576 W. Park Ave. Barberton, OH.  
To find other safe drop off sites call 1-800-882-9539.  Emergency Care for You has provided a home safety checklist that may be life saving provided by the American College of Emergency Physicians:
The Community Health Library is located on the first floor of Summa Barberton Hospital and is open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.  Our phone number is 330-615-3105. Please e-mail any questions to  Visit us at and click on Health Library for information and resources.