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Keeping Medications Safely: When someone at home is having mental health concerns

Medications and household cleaners are common items found in almost every home, yet they can pose serious risks if not stored properly, especially for anyone experiencing thoughts of suicide or a mental health crisis. From prescription pills to cleaning solutions, it's crucial to take precautions to ensure the safety of everyone in the household.

Here are some essential tips for safely storing medications and household cleaners:


Medications in the home can come in various forms, including pills, liquid, patches, and even pet medications. Regardless of the type, it's important to follow these guidelines:

  1. Use a Locked Box: Keep all medications, whether prescribed or over-the-counter, in a locked box. This prevents unauthorized access, especially by children or pets.

  2. Track Medication Inventory: Keep track of each bottle of medication, noting the total number of pills, the intended recipient, and the correct dosage. This helps prevent accidental overdoses and ensures medication adherence.

  3. Dispose of Expired Medications: Regularly check for expired or unused medications and dispose of them properly. Many pharmacies and fire stations offer medication disposal services to ensure safe and environmentally friendly disposal.

Household Cleaners and Alcohol:

Household cleaners and alcohol can also pose risks if not stored correctly. Follow these tips to ensure safe storage:

  1. Label Bottles Correctly: Make sure all cleaners and alcohol bottles are clearly labeled with the correct name and active ingredients. This helps prevent accidental ingestion or misuse and helps identify quantity ingested if misuse occurs.

  2. Store Securely: Keep all bottles of alcohol and cleaners locked up or stored away, out of reach of children, pets, and anyone experiencing mental health concerns. Consider using child-resistant locks or cabinets for added safety.

  3. Seek Guidance if Unsure: If you're unsure how to properly store medications, alcohol, or cleaners, don't hesitate to ask for help. Consult with a trusted friend or family member to learn how they store these items safely.

Additional Tips:

  • Controlled Distribution: It's important to designate a trusted adult to handle and distribute all prescribed and over-the-counter medications. This helps ensure proper dosing and prevents unauthorized access.

  • Regular Check-Ups: Periodically review your medication and household cleaner storage practices to ensure they remain safe and secure. Make adjustments as needed to address any changes in household dynamics or storage needs.

By following these simple yet effective guidelines, you can help prevent accidents and ensure the safety of everyone in your household. Remember, when it comes to medication and household cleaner safety, it's better to be proactive than reactive.

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