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How Do You Dispose of Old Medicines?

How do you dispose of old medicines? Do it safely!

Unused or expired prescription medications are a public safety issue and can lead to accidental poisoning, overdose, and abuse. Prescription drugs can be just as dangerous as street drugs when taken without a prescription or a doctor’s supervision.
The non-medical use of prescription drugs ranks second only to marijuana as the most common form of drug abuse in America. In fact, most teenagers abusing prescription drugs get them from family and friends – and the home medicine cabinet.
If you throw old prescription drugs in the trash, they can be retrieved and abused – or even sold illegally. If you flush them down the toilet, they contaminate our water supply. That’s why it’s so important to dispose of unused drugs properly. Doing so both saves lives and protects the environment.
Take-back programs are the best way to dispose of old drugs. But if a program is not available, here is something you can do to get rid of them safely:

  • Take the medicines out of their bottles;
  • Mix them with something unappealing like used kitty litter or coffee grounds;
  • Seal them in a bag or disposable container, and throw that away in the trash.

Be sure to remove the labels from the bottles before discarding them, and destroy the labels so your personal information can no longer be read by others.

On Saturday, April 26, a number of collection sites are available where you can turn in old, unwanted medications for safe disposal any time between 10 a.m. and 2 .m. Here is a list of local sites:

  • Harry Grove Stadium, 10 Stadium Drive, Frederick, MD 21703
  • Maryland State Police Frederick Barracks, 110 Airport Drive East, Frederick, MD 21701
  • Fort Detrick Army Base (open to those with base access only)
  • Maryland Natural Resources Police, 110 Monument Road, Myersville, MD 21773
  • Maryland State Police Westminster Barracks, 100 Baltimore Blvd., Westminster, MD 21157

For more information on prescription drug abuse, go to:

  • www.dea.gov
  • www.getsmartaboutdrugs.com
  • www.justthinktwice.com

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