Take Back Your Meds

Take Back Your Meds

Unused prescription and over-the-counter medicines can pose a danger to children and pets if they get into their mouths or are found by someone who intends to misuse them. Prescription drugs thrown in the trash can be retrieved and abused or illegally sold; medicine flushed down the toilet can contaminate the water supply. Prescription drug misuse is a health, safety, and national security issue that can be prevented.

New York State’s drug Take Back Your Meds programs, events, and permanent drop box locations are the best ways to dispose of unwanted medications. Before throwing any medication away, check the packaging to see if there are special instructions for disposal.

Take-back sites accept tablets, capsules, drops, creams and patches. They do not accept syringes or sharps. You can also recycle asthma inhalers with your local trash and recycling facility.

Cleaning out Your Medicine Cabinet: The Importance of Take Back Your Meds

If there are no drop-off sites nearby, you can dispose of your unused medications at home. Mix the medicine with an inedible substance like dirt, kitty litter or used coffee grounds and place the mixture in a plastic bag or sealable container to make it unpalatable. Put the bagged medicine in your household trash. Remove and scratch out any personal information on the prescription bottle label and dispose of the empty pill bottles in your household trash, too.

The DEA hosts no-questions-asked National Prescription Drug Take-Back Days twice a year. Local communities team up with law enforcement to set up temporary collection sites for citizens to drop off unwanted medications. Local pharmacists, community organizations and other DEA-authorized collectors operate year-round collection sites.

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