How to Dispose of Unused Medications
The DEA suggests that it is possible to dispose of unused medications at home in some circumstances. If you are unable to make it to a safe disposal site on Oct. 24, you can check to see whether or not the medication you are in possession of is on the DEA’s “flush list.” If it is, it can be flushed down the toilet without posing any public health risks and without potentially contaminating the national water supply. If the medication is not included in this list you can safely dispose of it another way – however, bringing the medication to a safe disposal site is always a better option than attempting to dispose of it at home. The steps include:
- Crush up the medication into a fine powder and combine it with an unpleasant substance like cat litter, dirt or used coffee grounds.
- Place the mixture into a plastic bag or another sealed container and throw it into the household trash can.
- Either remove the label from the pill bottle and destroy it or black-out your personal information with a permanent marker.
Of course, it is crucial that you never share any drugs that were personally prescribed to you – even if they are non-narcotic and you believe them to be safe to use. Sharing medications is never acceptable and can be extremely dangerous.