April 26, 2022
Medications play an important role in treating many acute and chronic conditions and diseases, but when they’re no longer needed and left in the medicine cabinet, they can be prone to misuse.
Below are some options and special instructions for you to consider when it comes time to dispose of expired, unwanted, or unused medicines at any time of year.
Community law enforcement agencies, retail pharmacies, hospitals, and clinics may also sponsor medicine take-back programs or have take-back receptacles or “drop boxes” in their facilities. Likewise, you can contact your local waste management authorities to learn about medication disposal options and guidelines for your area. DisposeMyMeds.org also offers a disposal locator search service to help you find medication disposal programs at an independent community pharmacy in your neighborhood. Simply insert your zip code to find a pharmacy willing to accept and dispose of your unused medications.
Some authorized collection sites may also offer mail-back programs. At some pharmacies, you can purchase pre-paid mailers for unwanted medicines. After purchasing the mailer, you put your medicine(s) in the pre-addressed mailer and sends it to an environmental returns program that properly disposes of the medicines. It’s important to know that controlled substances cannot be sent in these mailers due to current federal regulations.
You can visit the DEA’s website for more information about drug disposal, the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day events, and to locate a DEA-authorized collector in their area. Or you can call the DEA Office of Diversion Control’s Registration Call Center at 1-800-882-9539 to find an authorized collector in your community.