It is Time to Clean Out all of those Prescription Drugs you have sitting around!
Drug Take-Back Day is an effort to prevent prescription drug abuse and to keep trace drugs out of our lakes and streams (wastewater treatment plants cannot remove many compounds found in medications; so when flushed or put in a landfill, drugs are discharged into our surface and ground water and consumed by fish and wildlife). oag.state.va.us/programs-initiatives/drug-take-back-program
- It’s anonymous and free
- Prescription and over-the-counter medications will be accepted
- Please, no intravenous solutions, injectables, or needles
“It’s a great time to clean out your medicine cabinet! Protect our kids, families and environment by properly disposing of your unwanted and expired medicines. Medicines in the home are a leading cause of accidental poisoning and flushed or trashed medicines can end up polluting our waters. Rates of prescription drug abuse are alarmingly high – over half of teens abusing medicines get them from a family member or friend, including the home medicine cabinet, and often without their knowledge.
What if I miss this event, what I can do? For the safety of our kids, families and environment, some communities, pharmacies, and law enforcement are paying for temporary ongoing take-back programs to help you properly dispose of unwanted and expired medicines in your homes until a permanent statewide program is in place. Click here to find a temporary ongoing take-back program.
Experts agree: Take-back programs are the first choice. Law enforcement, public health, and environmental professionals stand united in support of take-back programs, such as the DEA’s take-back event on Saturday, September 27th, as the safest and most responsible way to dispose of unwanted and expired medicines to protect your family and to protect our waters.” Click on this link for more information (takebackyourmeds.org) .
Home disposal: What to do on other days of the year when there is no take-back program available
If a take-back program is not available, home disposal, when completed correctly per the instructions below, is another option to dispose of prescription drugs:
- Step 1– Remove medications from their original containers. If the medication is solid, crush it or add water to dissolve it and then mix the medication with an undesirable substance, such as kitty litter or coffee grounds. This makes the mixture unattractive to children and pets and unrecognizable to potential abusers who may go through your trash.
- Step 2– Place the mixture in a container with a lid or in a sealable baggie to prevent the medication from leaking, and throw it into the trash.
- Step 3– When discarding the original containers, scratch out or remove identifiers on the bottle and/or packaging.
- DO NOT dispose of medications in the toilet or sink, unless specifically instructed to on the label.
- DO NOT give medicine to friends or family. This is not only potentially illegal, but a drug that works for you could be dangerous for someone else.
- When in doubt, consult your pharmacist.
Go to http://www.oag.state.va.us/programs-initiatives/drug-take-back-program for more tips on drug dispoal.
Click here to find a local National Take Back Initiative Collection Site Search