Disposing of unused medication

Do you know what to do with unused or expired medications? So many people just flush them down the toilet or pour them down the drain thinking that’s the safest thing. Medicines that are flushed down the toilet or poured down the drain can end up polluting our waters, impacting aquatic life, and contaminating our food and water supplies. Most medications are not removed by wastewater treatment plants or septic systems. Please do not flush your medicines!

The FDA lists a few options as safer choices to dispose of medicines. The first is DEA registered collectors. They are pharmacies, hospitals, clinics and law enforcement agencies that will collect unused medications and dispose of properly. You can find a collection agency or take back event in your area by going to the DEA’s website.

If no take back programs or DEA registered collectors are available in your area, and there are no specific disposal instructions on the product package, you can also follow these steps to dispose of medicines in the household trash:

1) Mix medicines (do not crush tablets or capsules) with an unpalatable substance such as dirt, cat litter, or unused coffee grounds.

2) Place the mixture in a container such as a sealed plastic bag

3) Throw the container in the trash

4) Remove all personal information (name, phone number, prescription number) from the label of empty pill bottles or medicine packaging, then dispose of container

Keep our water safe by disposing of your medicines properly! And keep your personal identity safe by scratching off all personal information from the pill bottles!