There may be medications you don’t use anymore. There also may be medications that are expired. You can throw these away. It must be safe though. Follow these tips to throw away your medications.
Drug Take Back Programs
Drug Take Back Programs take your old medications. These medications can be expired. These medications can also be unused. It does not matter. Organizations like the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) run these programs. They make sure everything is done right. There are some local organizations that do this too. One example is the Missouri Prescription Pill and Drug Disposal program. St. Louis County has one of the largest take back programs in the country. This program is called PDP2. The PDP2 program has many medication drop-off sites. Some sites are at different police stations in the area. Some are also at pharmacies in the area. Call these sites first before you go. Not all sites take back medications. These drop-off sites are available 24/7.
Throwing Away Medications at Home
You can flush old medications down the toilet. This should only be an option if there are no take back programs in your area. Always check the medication information. Some medications cannot be flushed. Some medications can be dangerous to the environment. This is why some of them cannot be flushed. You can tell which medications are safe to flush at https://www.fda.gov/drugs/safe-disposal-medicines/disposal-unused-medicines-what-you-should-know.
You can also throw medications away in the trash. Only do this if they cannot be flushed. It still must be done safely though. Follow these steps to throw away medications in the garbage:
- Mix medications with something gross (coffee grounds, cat litter, or dirt)
- Put the mixture in a container that can be sealed
- Throw the whole container into the trash
- Black out any personal information on the original prescription bottle