Why Dispose of Unused Medication?
An easy step you can do to help prevent drug misuse and abuse is to safely dispose of expired or unused medications.
Never keep prescription medications left over after treatment of injuries or surgeries. It’s not safe to take those medications for reasons other than those they were prescribed for. Don’t share your prescription medications with friends or family members even if they have similar symptoms. It’s never okay to take prescription medication that was not specifically prescribed for you.
Medications that are expired can be less effective and expired prescription medications are most likely not part of your physician’s current treatment plan.
Take Back Locations
There are many locations around Kentucky where you can take your unused or expired medications.
- Call us on the OAR Hotline and we can help you find your closest take back location.
- Online – In Kentucky there are two resources for finding a take back location near you:
- The DEA https://apps2.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/pubdispsearch/spring/main?execution=e1s1
- The Kentucky Office for Drug Control Policy
Safe Medication Disposal at Home
While the very safest way to dispose of unused or expired medications is one of the take back locations. If you can’t take your medications to one of the locations above, there are a few methods available for safely disposing of them at home.
Medication disposal pouches – These bags contain substances that will neutralize medications when water is added.
You can also mix the pills or capsules with some coffee grounds or kitty litter. Place the mixture in a sealable plastic bag or container and throw it away with your regular trash.
Before throwing away your empty prescription pill bottles always remove the label or mark out the identifying information.
Flushing Unused Medications
There are some medications that could be extremely harmful if even one dose came into the wrong hands. For those medications the FDA recommends that if they can’t be taken to a drug take back location they should be flushed down a sink or toilet. Click here (https://www.fda.gov/drugs/safe-disposal-medicines/disposal-unused-medicines-what-you-should-know#Flush_List) for the list of medications that are safe to flush and be sure to only flush medications on the list.
If you have any questions about disposing of your medications at home, call us and we can help you figure out the best method.