How to Dispose of Medications Safely
Posted on 10/27/2023

Many people have unused or unwanted medications at home that can pose serious risks to their health and the environment. These medications can be abused, misused, or accidentally ingested by children or pets. They can also contaminate the water and soil if they are thrown away or flushed down the toilet.
To prevent these problems, you should dispose of your medications safely and responsibly. Here are three ways to do that:

1. Drop them off at a “Safe Drug Disposal” kiosk. You can find a nearby location here: Safe Medication Return Drop-Off Finder. Your medications can be in a sealed bag or the original containers. Please remove any personal or identifying information from the packaging or labels. These kiosks ACCEPT: pills, liquids, inhalers, and injectors. Kiosks do NOT ACCEPT: needles, aerosols, vitamins, sharps, illicit drugs, batteries, herbal remedies or cosmetics.
2. Mail your medications safely using free, prepaid supplies. You can pick up envelopes for prescriptions, inhalers, and injectors at Benton-Franklin Health District (BFHD) Kennewick Office (7102 W. Okanogan Place – 99336). Follow the instructions on the packaging before mailing your unused medications. Other sites to pick up mailing materials can be found here:
3. Participate in take-back events organized by local authorities or pharmacies, to collect and dispose of medications safely. The DEA encourages safe disposal year-round and hosts National events twice annually to promote participation. The next National Prescription Take Back Day is October 28 and encourages safe disposal of old medications to protect your community and the environment. Check the official website or contact your local authorities (non-emergency lines) for drop-off information in your area. You can also check the DEA website for upcoming events near you.

Safe Med Disposal Kiosk ImageSafe Med Disposal Kiosk ImageFor more information contact BFHD at (509) 460-4200 and ask for Aisling Gardner in Environmental Health.


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