Medication Disposal

Proper medication disposal is important because:
  • 75% of people who abuse prescription pain relievers get them from friends or relatives
  • 1 in 5 high school students have abused prescription drugs
  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) studies have detected pharmaceutical drugs in our water supply
While the majority of medicines found in any water system are the result of the body's natural route of drug elimination,recent reports have noted increases in the amounts of medicines in water systems in many cities across the country, putting our waterways and aquatic life at risk. Do not flush prescription drugs down the toilet unless the label specifically instructs you to do so. For a list of drugs that should be flushed, please visit the FDA website.
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Proper Disposal
The preferred disposal of medications is to drop them off at a designated medication drop off site. Chester County has several drop-off boxes located throughout the county. Click here for a complete list of drop-off sites

To dispose of medications at home:
  • Remove and destroy any personal information on the pill container.
  • Take the medicine out of the container and place pills and/or liquid (cough syrup, etc) in a Ziploc bag.
  • Add a small amount of water to the bag.
  • Place coffee grinds or cat litter into the bag to make the contents unattractive to children and animals.
  • Mix the contents and then seal the bag and dispose of in the trash.
Links
Medication Disposal Boxes in Chester County
Safe Disposal of Sharps
FDA Medication Disposal pamphlet