Do you have expired or unused prescription medicines sitting around in your kitchen or bathroom cabinets? Now you have a safe and anonymous way to dispose of them: National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on April 27.
According to the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), unused or expired prescription drug medications are a public safety issue, leading to potential accidental poisonings, misuse and overdose. Too often, unused prescription drugs find their way into the wrong hands. That’s dangerous and often tragic. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet. That’s why it was great to see thousands of folks from across the country clean out their medicine cabinets and turn in – safely and anonymously – a record amount of prescription drugs. During the last Take Back Day in October 2018, more than 457 tons of medications were turned in at more than 5000 collection sites nationwide for proper disposal.
Proper disposal of unused drugs saves lives and saves the environment!
Use the Collection Site Locator – enter your zip code to find a site near you.
If you or someone you love needs help for a prescription drug problem, find treatment using the treatment services locator.
The DEA offers tips for disposal if no disposal instructions are given on the prescription drug label and no prescription drug take-back program is available in your area:
- You must not share your prescription drugs – they were prescribed to you.
- Remove the medicine from its original container and mix it with an undesirable substance, such as used coffee grounds or kitty litter.
- Place the mixture in a sealable bag, empty bag, or other container to prevent medicine from leaking or breaking out of a garbage bag.
- Scratch out all identifying information on the prescription label to make it unreadable to protect your identity and the privacy of your personal health information.
- Do not flush medicines down the sink or toilet unless the prescription drug labeling specifically instructs you to do so, and check with your community’s laws and regulations prior to taking such action.
See more in this PDF tip sheet: How to properly dispose of your unused medicines