How To Discard Unused Medication

Prescription medicines are now the most commonly abused drugs among 12 to 13 year-olds.  Furthermore, 80% of heroin users start out misusing prescription drugs, often led there by curiosity and availability. You can help address the opiate crisis in our community by starting with your own medicine cabinet. Below are tips for how to safely use, store, and dispose of prescription medications.

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Safe Use:

  • Use medications exactly as prescribed.
  • If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember.
  • Never “double up” on a dose.
  • Do not stop your medication without consulting with your doctor.
  • Only use medication prescribed to you.
  • Never share medications.
  • Never take someone else’s medications.

Safe Storage:

  • Always lock up your medications.
  • Keep medications away from children and pets.
  • Medications should remain in the bottle in which they came.
  • Never keep expired or unused medication.
  • Keep track of how many pills are in medication bottles.

Safe Disposal:

  • Drop off unused medications at police stations or pharmacies that participate in take back programs. Click here for locations.
  • Do not give medications to friends or family members.
  • Medications can be mixed in with used coffee grounds or kitty litter and thrown away.
  • Utilize at home disposal methods. (Deterra Bags).
  • In an emergency, flush medications down the toilet.

Courtesy of NCADA.