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Be Safe This Halloween: Medication Can Easily Be Mistaken for Candy

Be Safe This Halloween: Medication Can Easily Be Mistaken for Candy

October 16, 2019

It’s the time of year where ghouls, monsters, and super heroes go door-to-door asking for candy. Help keep all our trick-or-treaters safe this year from accidental poisoning. Many medications found in homes can easily be mistaken for candy. According to Safe Kids Worldwide, nearly 60,000 young children, or about four busloads of kids per day, are seen at emergency rooms because they got into medicine.

 Make your Halloween as fun and safe as possible by ensuring all medications are safely secured, or clean out your medicine cabinet and properly dispose of any unused, leftover, or expired medications by:

  • Taking them back to a Nebraska MEDS participating pharmacy. Every day is take-back day in Nebraska! There are over 320 participating pharmacies across the state that will safely dispose of unwanted medications year-round, keeping them from falling into the wrong hands and out of our waterways. Find a participating pharmacy near you at
  • Taking them back during the Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on October 26, 2019 from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Find a collection site at

Along with properly disposing of unused or expired medications, follow these recommendations from Safe Kids Worldwide to prevent accidental poisoning from medications:

  • Keep medicine and vitamins out of children’s reach and sight, even those you take every day.
  • Remember to keep visitors’ purses, bags, and coats out of reach, in case they contain medication.
  • Child-resistant packaging is not childproof, so keep all medication stored securely away immediately after every use.
  • Save the Poison Help number in your phone and have it easily accessible at home in case of emergencies – 1-800-222-1222.
  • Never call medicine “candy.”​

Since the Nebraska MEDS Initiative went statewide in 2016, over 100,000 pounds of medication have been collected by Nebraska pharmacies for proper disposal. Be part of the solution and take back your leftovers today!

Nebraska MEDS (Medication Education on Disposal Strategies ) is a coalition of state and community partners dedicated to educating Nebraskans about drug disposal and provides safe ways to dispose of them to better safeguard the environment and public health. It is funded by the Nebraska Environmental Trust and the Nebraska Legislature. The Coalition includes the Nebraska Pharmacists Association, Groundwater Foundation, Drug Enforcement Administration, Lincoln/Lancaster County Health Department, Lincoln Police Department, Coalition Rx, Lincoln Public School Nurses, LiveWise Coalition, Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality, Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, Nebraska Medical Association, AARP of Nebraska, Nebraska Pharmacy Foundation, Nebraska Regional Poison Center, Safe Kids Lincoln-Lancaster County, KETV, Nebraska Attorney General’s Office, and Nebraska State Patrol.  


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