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Prescription Drug Disposal

Why Is Proper Prescription Drug Disposal Important?

Improperly discarded drugs threaten public health and our environment with the potential to:
  • Poison children and animals that may find the medication
  • Be scavenged and sold unlawfully
  • Pass through sewage treatment plants and septic tanks and contaminate groundwater and soil

How Can You Help Protect Your Community?

Practice safe drug disposal at home by following these guidelines:
  • Find the closest drop box location for unused, unneeded or expired prescription and over-the-counter drugs | Drop Box Locator >
  • Discard your unused, unneeded or expired prescription and over-the-counter drugs in the drop box.
  • If you cannot locate a convenient drop box: 

STEP 1: Remove unused, unneeded or expired prescription drugs from their original containers.
STEP 2: Place them in an impermeable, nondescript container.

STEP 3: Mix them with an encapsulating agent to further ensure they are not diverted or accidentally ingested by children or pets or contaminate groundwater.
STEP 4: Seal the container tightly and throw it in the trash.


Learn more about prescription drug disposal | View fact sheet>