Where You Can Dispose Of Unused Prescription Medication

By Claire Caulfield
Published: Friday, October 26, 2018 - 10:31am
Updated: Friday, October 26, 2018 - 10:33am

On Saturday, police officers and public health officials across the country are putting out large, metal bins in parking lots, under tents and in the lobbies of public libraries. By the end of the day they hope the bins are filled to the brim with an assortment of pills. 

It's all for the National Drug Take Back Day, a twice-yearly initiative of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to destroy unused prescription medication, and any other drugs the public may be inclined to turn over.

In 2016, 6.2 million Americans admitted to abusing or misusing prescription drugs, and law enforcement agencies in Arizona warn that a medicine cabinet full of forgotten prescriptions can easily fall into the wrong hands or become an accidental gateway to addiction.

“A lot of teens gain access to dangerous opioids from the medicine cabinets of friends, family, and grandparents,” said Attorney General Mark Brnovich in a statement.

Arizonans can dispose of their medications at one of 85 locations, and in the coming months agencies will incinerate the collected medication or send them to a hazardous waste disposal site.

Environmental activists also encourage the proper disposal of medications. Studies have found flushing pharmaceuticals down the toilet or throwing them in the trash have adverse effects on groundwater and has even lead to the accidental poisoning of children, pets and wildlife.

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