Safe drug disposal

Find a convenient location to take back your expired or unneeded drugs.

The United States is in the midst of an opioid epidemic. Every day 134 people die from opiate related overdoses - and misuse of prescription painkillers is a large contributor to this crisis. Thankfully, there is something we can do. One way that you can help reduce the potential misuse of drugs is to properly dispose of expired or unused medications.

The next National Prescription Drug Take Back Day will be in April 2019. This site will be updated with more information as we get closer to the event.

Zoom in on the map to find a place near you to safely dispose of leftover prescription medications.

No disposal location near you?

  • Unused medicine can be disposed of at home as a last resort. Mix the medicine with an undesirable substance, such as used coffee grounds or kitty litter, and discard in a separate, sealed container. Protect your privacy and scratch out your personal information on the original container. Learn more about the FDA guidelines for medicine disposal options here.
  • If you're interested in planning for the next takeback day in April 2019, consider working with local regulators to create a takeback event in your own community - you can review Michigan Open's planning guide here.

Why does safe drug disposal matter? Click on the tiles below for more information.

Environmental Risks

Medicines that enter the environment can have a negative impact, especially on fish and amphibians (such as frogs and toads). This in turn can have an effect on other species. Most wastewater treatment facilities cannot filter out drugs.

Accidental Use

Accidental drug overdose is one of the most common sources of household injury. Young children are especially at risk for unintentional exposure to prescription and over-the-counter medications. The number of poisoning deaths among children has doubled since 2000. All drugs should be safeguarded. An important part of safeguarding is getting rid of them when they are no longer needed.

Health Risks

Keeping drugs in the home beyond the time when they are needed or wanted poses health risks. Expired drugs may not only be ineffective, they can be harmful to the user. Sharing medicines can lead to dangerous health consequences.

Intentional Misuse

Prescription drugs can be intentionally misused to get high. Drug use by teens is especially concerning as it can lead to the development of a chronic substance use disorder. Findings show that one in four teens has misused or abused a prescription drug at least once in their lifetime. The primary source for the medicines teens misuse isn’t a drug dealer – it is friends, their home medicine cabinet or their friends’ home medicine cabinet.

Did you know?

Additional Resources

To learn more about National Prescription Drug Take Back Day visit:

To learn more about prescription drug abuse or get help for your son or daughter visit: