HOW & WHERE TO DISPOSE OF UNWANTED
PRESCRIPTION PAINKILLERS AND OTHER DRUGS
Never Flush or pour down the Drain!
Unused or expired prescription medications should never be flushed or poured down the drain. These potentially dangerous pharmaceutical substances can contribute to contamination of our water supply if not disposed of properly.
Take your drugs to one of the drop boxes in our area:
Richmond Hill Police Department
Bryan County Sheriff’s Office
Richmond Hill Walgreens
Other Drug Take Back Locations
To find a Drug Take Back location near you, use this interactive map.
How to Dispose of Unwanted Prescription Painkillers and Other Medications
Disposing medicines in household trash: Almost all medicines can be thrown into your household trash. These include prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs in pills, liquids, drops, patches, creams, and inhalers.
Follow these steps:
- Remove the drugs from their original containers and mix them with something undesirable, such as used coffee grounds, dirt, or cat litter. This makes the medicine less appealing to children and pets and unrecognizable to someone who might intentionally go through the trash looking for drugs.
- Put the mixture in something you can close (a re-sealable zipper storage bag, empty can, or other container) to prevent the drug from leaking or spilling out.
- Throw the container in the garbage.
- Scratch out all your personal information on the empty medicine packaging to protect your identity and privacy. Throw the packaging away.
If you have a question about your medicine, ask your health care provider or pharmacist.
Disposing of Fentanyl Patches
Some prescription drugs — such as powerful narcotic pain medicines and other controlled substances — have instructions for flushing to reduce the danger of overdose from unintentional or illegal use.
One example is the fentanyl patch. This adhesive patch delivers a strong pain medicine through the skin. Even after a patch is used, a lot of the medicine remains. That’s why the drug comes with instructions to flush used or leftover patches.
Disposing of Inhaler Products
One environmental concern involves inhalers used by people who have asthma or other breathing problems, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Read handling instructions on the labeling of inhalers and aerosol products. These products could be dangerous if punctured or thrown into a fire or incinerator. To properly dispose of these products and follow local regulations and laws, contact your trash and recycling facility.
Drug Take Back Day
Whenever possible, take your unused prescription drugs to a collection site or DRUG TAKE BACK Days happen, at minimum, in the spring and fall of each year. See events for the next scheduled DEA Drug Take Back day in Bryan County or check the DEA website for more dates and information.