Returning your unwanted medicines to a take-back program is the safest and most environmentally protective way to dispose of unused prescriptions or over-the-counter drugs. You may have been hearing some confusing advice about other ways of disposing of medicine.

Flushing pollutes the water and contaminates food and water supplies; crushing puts the handler and family and pets at risk of exposure through skin contact or breathing of dust; mixing with coffee grounds or kitty litter does not prevent drug theft and abuse; and medicines in landfills are considered a hazardous chemicals which can be toxic to people and wildlife, even in low doses. Properly dispose of medicine.

Some prescriptions are controlled substances (such as pain relievers and stimulants) and can only be returned to law enforcement locations such as police, state patrol or the sheriff’s office. Leave the medication in the bottle and mark out your personal information. Check out TakeBackYourMeds.org to find take back locations, times, and phone numbers.