How to Dispose: Unused or Expired Medications
Saturday, April 28 is the DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day in the US! I’ve been getting quite a few inquiries from the public lately asking about the proper procedure for disposing of unused or expired medications. Please DO NOT FLUSH your medications down the toilet unless it specifically states to do so on the packaging. Remember Finding Nemo’s saying “all drains lead to the ocean” and help prevent groundwater or surface water contamination by keeping pills out of your toilets and sinks.
You also have to be concerned about people, especially children, or animals getting ahold of your prescription drugs if you toss them straight into your trashcan. The FDA advises to mix (don’t crush) old over-the-counter medicines with kitty litter or coffee grounds and dispose in your regular trash bin. However, the safest disposal method for people and the environment is a take-back program.
The best solution is to take unused or expired prescription medications to a certified collection center for proper disposal, and the DEA is making sure there are collection centers nationwide for this event! Check out the official website takebackday.dea.gov to find the closest collection site to you and additional prescription drug take-back days throughout the year.