How do you properly dispose of old medication?

Posted on Saturday, October 26, 2013


I personally don't currently take any mediation, but due to a family crisis I am learning all kinds of stuff about medication as I help my mother and father-in-law in their current circumstances.

I recently helped my father-in-law in organizing his current set of medications he takes.  I was guided by my wife, who does take medication.   Well after sorting out all his pills and getting them organized we had 5 bottles of medication to get rid of.  I would like to get rid of these medications properly, rather than just throw them in the garbage where some person or animal could get a hold of them and harm themselves.

So what are the options out there?



I found two different options.  One is to use the National Take Back Initiative.  This program runs once a year in October.  They have a site you can go to and enter your Zip code to find the closest drop off sites near you https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/SEARCH-NTBI/ [1]




This year the collection day is Oct 26 2013.

So by the time you read this it will have passed.


Another method I found is at Walgreens.  Walgreens has a Safe Medication Disposal Program, you can read more about it here http://www.walgreens.com/topic/sr/sr_safe_medication_disposal.jsp [2]

The long and short of it is you can go to your local Walgreens store and buy a TakeAway return system.   I did just that this morning.   Walgreens charged me $3.99 + tax for it.








Here is a front image of the box




Here is the back side.



The package contained one envelope with a pre-paid postage stamp on it and a set of instructions.




(I blacked out the USPS code in this image just in case)

Looking at the instructions there are a few types of drugs you can't put in here.  They say no controlled prescription drugs. The short list of controlled drugs they give as an example are

·         Addreall
·         Ambien
·         Hydrocodone
·         Morphine
·         Oxycodone
·         Ocycontin
·         Percocet
·         Phentermine
·         Ritalin
·         Valium
·         Vicodin
·         Xanax

In my case none the drugs I had to send in were "controlled" drugs, so I simple slipped them in pill bottle and all.  In fact they want you to keep them in their pill bottles.   There are some further instructions for liquids.

I easily put 5 pill bottles in this bag.  I would guess it should hold about 10ish.

I sealed it up and took it to a local mail drop.  I am in a condo and we don't have a place to put large packages going out so I had to drive by and put it in an old style mailbox.

Overall I like the kit,  I wish it were free but $4 is not bad to have the ease of mind your pills are being disposed of properly.




References
[1]  National Take Back Initiative Collection Site Search
       Visited 10/2013
[2]  Safe Medication Disposal Program
       Visited 10/2013


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