Not sure what to do with those tinctures, potions, and tonics loitering in your medicine cabinet? Concerned about popping pills into the waste stream? The on-going Take Back Your Meds program offers drop-off locations in many cities including Seattle, Shoreline, Issaquah, Bellevue, Auburn and many other cities.
Visit takebackyourmeds.org to find a Medicine Take Back location near you and to view the list of medicines accepted. Note that controlled substances are only accepted at participating law enforcement offices and drop off locations do not accept syringes.
On April 27, 2013, National Medicine Take Back Day, additional drop off locations will be available. To find these, check the National medicine take back day website.
Why dispose of medicines safely?
The sad truth(1)
Medicines cure serious problems but in the wrong hands, they can be deadly:
More people die from prescription medicines than from all illegal drugs combined
Most abusers of prescription drugs get the pills from a friend or relative’s medicine cabinet;
Prescription medicines are the drug of choice among 12 and 13-year olds;
32% of child poisoning deaths in Washington were caused by someone else’s prescription medication and 26% were caused by over-the-counter medications.
Flushing is not a solution(2)
Medicines that are flushed down the toilet or washed down the drain end up at the local sewage treatment plant which is not designed to remove or neutralize these chemicals.
Pharmaceuticals have been found in our waterways and may be harmful to the marine environment. By keeping unused and expired medicine out of the sewer, we reduce unnecessarily exposing aquatic organisms to our drugs.