According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), most drugs can be safely thrown in the household trash under certain conditions (ie. crushing first and/or combining with kitty litter or coffee grounds). The FDA recommends that a few drugs should be flushed down the toilet or may be disposed of down the sink (a current list can be found here). Another option is the periodic community-based “take back” programs which are becoming more common.
2nd Annual National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, April 30, 2011
As unwanted and unused prescription drugs can pose a health risk for abuse, the National Drug Enforcement Agency joined forces with approximately 3,000 state and local law enforcement agencies in September 2010 for the first National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. More than 121 tons of pills were turned in on that day by millions of people and the effort is being repeated next week.
This is a great opportunity to safely dispose of your excess prescription medications which are collecting dust. Locations throughout the country will be accepting your excess medications from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm on April 30, 2011. Find a collection site near you. I discovered that there are more then 20 drop-off locations within 10 miles of my home in the suburban DC area.
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National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, April 30, 2011