Quiz: Proper Drug Disposal
Last Updated: Friday October 20, 2023
What is DEA Take-Back Day?
DEA’s official Take-Back Day, held twice a year, is the ONLY day when you can drop off your unused or expired medication to a designated location.
Drop off locations are available all year round. Find one near you here: https://apps.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/pubdispsearch/spring/main?execution=e1s1
If you can’t drop your prescription at a designated disposal location, you can flush prescription medication down the toilet. Is this true or false?
If Take Back Day options are not readily available, one option is to flush the medicines down the sink or toilet as soon as they are no longer needed. Some communities may prohibit this practice. DO NOT flush medicines down the sink or toilet unless the prescription drug labeling or patient information that accompanied the medicine specifically instructs you to do so.
For more guidance, the Food and Drug Administration lists which medicines you can safely flush when they are no longer needed. Check it out here.
Medication drop off locations are available in every state EXCEPT Alaska and Hawaii.
You can throw some prescription medication in the trash to dispose of them. True or false?
ONLY IF no disposal instructions are given on the labeling and no prescription drug take-back program is available in your area, follow these simple steps to throw the drugs in the household trash:
1. Remove the medicine from its original container and mix it with an undesirable substance, such as used coffee grounds or kitty litter.
2. Place the mixture in a sealable bag, empty bag, or other container to prevent medicine from leaking or breaking out of a garbage bag.
If you have leftover pain medicine, it’s OK to let your family member who is experiencing the same pain use the medication instead of being wasteful and throwing it away. True or false?
Never share your prescription drugs – they were prescribed specifically to you. And what would be a normal dose for you could be deadly for someone else.
Can I throw my unused fentanyl patches in the trash can?
Fentanyl patches release very strong pain medication through the skin. A lot of the medicine still remains in the patches even after they are used. For this reason, the drug comes with instructions to flush used or leftover patches to prevent overdose if someone comes into contact with the drug unintentionally or illegally.
Source: Food and Drug Administration - https://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm101653.htm