Keep in mind safe ways to dispose of unused medicines

Published 10:25am Friday, October 11, 2013

Dear Savvy Senior,

What is the safest way to dispose of unwanted medications? My husband and I have drawers full of unused and expired drugs that we’d like to get rid of, and get them out of sight of our curious grandkids. What can you tell me?

- Concerned Grandmother

Dear Concerned,

The safest and most responsible way to dispose of unwanted, unused or expired, medications is to take it to a medicine take-back event. And the next prime opportunity to do this is on National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, which is slated for Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

National Take-Back Day is a free, anonymous program that will have around 6,000 designated sites nationwide – including many fire and police stations, and community centers – where you can drop off your unwanted medications.

Developed by U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the take-back program was created to help address the ongoing problem of prescription drug abuse, as well as improper use of medications and accidental poisonings.

In the three years of semiannual collections, more than 1,400 tons of prescription meds have been collected and incinerated.

To find a collection site near you, visit or call 800-882-9539.

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