drugfreeCT

Safe Medication Disposal

senior woman imageWhen your medications are no longer needed, they should be disposed of promptly. Remove expired, unwanted, or unused medications from your home as quickly as possible to help reduce the chance that others accidentally take or intentionally misuse them.

Medication Drop Boxes

These boxes are secured in the lobby of the police department, and are accessible anytime the department is open. No questions asked! Just drop the unwanted medications in and they will be safely and securely destroyed. This interactive map of Connecticut will help you find the closest medication drop box.

What can and can’t be discarded in a local medication drop box?

Yes:

  • Over the counter medications
  • Prescription medications
  • Medication samples
  • Medications for household pets
  • Medicated lotions or ointments

No:

  • Needles or other “sharps”
  • Hazardous waste
  • Thermometers
  • Personal care products (shampoo, etc.)

Medication Take Back Days

National Prescription Drug Take Back Days are days when temporary collections sites are set up in communities for safe disposal of prescription drugs in an effort to prevent misuse.

Local law enforcement agencies may also sponsor medication take back events in your community. Don’t forget to lock up your medications while waiting for the next take back event.


Household Disposal

Household disposal of medications is an option if there are no take back days or drop boxes available to you. Follow any specific disposal instructions that come with your prescription medication packaging. If no instructions are provided, follow these steps to safely dispose of your medications at home:

  1. Protect personal information. Be sure to remove any labels or use a permanent marker to cross out any personal details.
  2. Make the leftover medication less appealing. Mixing medications with hot water will dissolve them. Adding an undesirable substance like salt, ashes, sawdust, used coffee grounds or kitty litter is another option.
  3. Contain and seal. Place the mixture in an opaque container and tape it shut.
  4. After completing steps 1-3, throw the container into the trash. Do not throw it in your recycling bin.

Why can’t medications be flushed down the toilet?

Flushed medications make their way into our lakes, rivers and streams. Research has shown continuous exposure to low levels of medications has altered the behavior and physiology of fish and other aquatic organisms. The FDA is working with other agencies to better understand the human health and ecological risks of flushing medications into our waters.

Source: Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection; U.S. Food and Drug Administration