Spring is almost here, and spring cleaning is just around the corner.

You probably know where you can dispose of your unwanted or outdated computer, or where to donate all of your no-longer-fashionable clothing. But do you know how to properly dispose of your unwanted or expired medications taking up valuable space in your medicine cabinet?

Perhaps you have an antibiotic that you picked up "just in case" you got sick during the holidays, or some left over painkillers from your wisdom teeth extraction last year.

While these medications might seem like they are just taking up space, they are actually posing a risk to you and your family.

First off, ask yourself why these medications did not get used.Did you not take these medications as your doctor prescribed and, thus, is there an untreated problem? Did you have an undesirable reaction to the medication, or did you simply not need it?

Holding on to these medications can pose a risk, especially when there are children or even pets in the household.

According to the Illinois Poison Control Center's website, approximately 52 percent of poison-exposure calls in 2009 were for children under the age of 5. Help decrease this number by disposing of your unneeded medications correctly and as soon as possible.

When disposing of medications, you have a couple of options.

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