What You Can do With Your Expired and Unused Medications

Highest Standards, Nationally Recognized:

expired medication

The opioid crisis is taking over, with approximately 90 Americans dying each day from opioid overdose. This number is staggering; many are abusing their prescription medications, but many are also abusing medications they found/retrieved from a family member, friend, etc. The cost is too high for us and our loved ones to abuse and overdose on these medications, which is why it’s incredibly important for us to dispose of them properly. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has noted several effective ways to do this:

  1. Transfer your medication to authorized collectors for disposal. Local law enforcement agencies may be hosting a medicine “take-back” program for you to drop off your unused medication. You may also be able to dispose of medication with a DEA-authorized collector. You can view more information about this by visiting their official website, https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/index.html.
  2. Dispose of it safely in your trash. If you cannot find a collection site nearby, there are several steps that you can take to keep your personal information safe and to dispose of your medication in a way that would be more difficult for others to find and abuse them.
    1. Mix medications.
    2. Place them in a container.
    3. Scratch out all identifying information such as your name, address, phone number, etc.
    4. Throw the container in your household trash.
  3. Flush them down the toilet. With this method, there could be environmental and human health risks posed, so it should only be used as a last resort. The FDA has lists of medications that are low-risk for flushing. If you are particularly worried about family, friends, or pets consuming the medication, you may choose this route.

“Take-back” programs are the best option available, because they remove any possibility of others obtaining the medication when you are unaware. By taking part in this, you are taking a step towards reducing impact to the opioid crisis. Make the decision to keep your medications hidden or locked away if you are using them, to avoid abuse from others. Maintain routine doctor visits to ensure you are taking proper dosages and always seek medical help right away if you experience any symptoms of concern.





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