I was disturbed when someone I know recently threw out old prescriptions. When I learned of it, I asked if they realized the damage old medicine can do. The answer was no and it reminded me that many people probably don't realize to take special care to dispose of your old prescriptions.
There are 2 main options. The first is hold on until a collection is done in your area (usually 1 time per year in my area.
Click here to look up a drop off location and get rid of those prescriptions!
If no medicine take-back programs or DEA-authorized collectors are available in your area, you can also follow these simple steps to dispose of most medicines in the household trash:
- Mix medicines (do not crush tablets or capsules) with an unpalatable substance such as dirt, kitty litter, or used coffee grounds;
- Place the mixture in a container such as a sealed plastic bag;
- Throw the container in your household trash;
- Scratch out all personal information on the prescription label of your empty pill bottle or empty medicine packaging to make it unreadable, then dispose of the container.
For more information on how to get rid of your prescriptions properly, visit http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/BuyingUsingMedicineSafely/EnsuringSafeUseofMedicine/SafeDisposalofMedicines/ucm186187.htm