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Do you have unused expired medications and are looking for a safe way to dispose of them? Before you throw them away, here are some things you should know.
Here is how to safely dispose of unused or expired medications before they do harm:
For safety reasons, dispose of unused medications as soon as possible. Here are a few tips for safe disposal:
• Find a nearby pharmacy or other local resource with a medication take back service.
o The US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) allows unused prescription medications to be returned to pharmacies or other authorized sites. You can locate participating locations at: https://apps2.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/pubdispsearch/spring/main?execution=e2s1.
o Community take back sites are the preferred method of disposing of unused controlled substances.
o Additional drug disposal information can be found on the DEA website at: www.deatakeback.com.
• If you cannot get to a drug take back location promptly, or there is none near you:
o Mix the unused supply with an undesirable substance such as dirt or coffee grounds.
o Put the mixture into a disposable container with a lid, such as an empty margarine tub, or into a sealable bag, then place the sealed container in your trash.
o Make sure to conceal or remove any personal information, including Rx number, on the empty containers by covering it with black permanent marker or duct tape, or by scratching it off to protect your privacy.
o Place both the sealed container with the mixture and the empty drug containers in the trash.
o Only flush approved unused or expired medications down the toilet only if indicated on the label, patient information, or no other disposal options are available.
More information on the safe disposal of medications can be found on the United States Department of Health and Human Services website: https://www.hhs.gov/opioids/prevention/safely-dispose-drugs/index.html