National Drug Take-Back Day

Currently the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) holds national Take Back events in October and April. Increasingly states and municipalities are holding Drug Take Back events throughout the year, so check out your local law enforcement agency to learn more.

Click here to find a location near you!

FAQ's

Q. What about privacy?  The entire process is COMPLETLY CONFIDENTIAL. You merely drop off your unwanted prescription dugs. No questions asked. No documentation required.

Q: What can I drop off?  Any unwanted prescription or non-prescription medicines may be brought to the drop-off sites. The only items not allowed are syringes. Click here for a list of year-round collection points

Q: How do I find a drop-off location?  Simply click on the Google Map on the right side of the page to find drop-off sites and their addresses. Click on a location closest to your home address. Then click on "Directions" to find the quickest way to that location from your home. 
 
Q: How do I dispose of my unused drugs if I miss this national Drug Take Back event?
Currently the DEA holds national Take Back Events in October and April. Increasingly states and municipalities are holding Drug Take Back events throughout the year, so check out your local law enforcement agency to learn more.In the meantime, here is how to dispose of unused medicines on your own in order to minimize the safety risk to others and to our streams and rivers.
First read the label. Some drug labels, because of the strength of the medicine and potential danger to others, do recommend disposal via flushing. For a complete list of these drugs, click here.  If no instructions are given on the drug
label and no take-back program is available in your area, dispose of the drugs in your household trash while carefully following these additional two steps…
1.  Take them out of their original containers and mix them with an undesirable substance, such as used coffee grounds or kitty litter. The medication will be less appealing to children and pets, and unrecognizable to people who may intentionally go through your trash.
2. Put them in a sealable bag, empty can, or other container to prevent the medication from leaking or breaking out of a garbage bag.
 
Q: Are there any other safety and or privacy related tips I should consider in the disposal process?
FDA’s Deputy Director of the Office of Compliance Ilisa Bernstein, Pharm.D., J.D., offers some great tips.
• Before throwing out a medicine container, scratch out all identifying information on the prescription label to make it unreadable. This will help protect your identity and the privacy of your personal health information.
• Do not give medications to friends. Doctors prescribe drugs based on a person’s specific symptoms and medical history. A drug that works for you could be dangerous for someone else.
• When in doubt about proper disposal, talk to your pharmacist. Bernstein says the same disposal methods for prescription drugs could apply to over-the-counter drugs as well.(Learn more here.)