Get Rid of Your Unwanted Meds Properly

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) along with state and local law enforcement agencies across the nation — including Fairfax County — are providing places for you to dispose of unwanted and unused prescription drugs.

You can help combat drug abuse and the environment by dropping them off at a designated site on Saturday, April 30, 2011 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

You can find a collection site near you here.

Don’t flush your medications

Why shouldn’t you flush your unwanted drugs? Because they can end up in rivers and streams. To help protect the environment, throw unused, unwanted or expired over-the-counter and prescription medicines in the trash. Don’t flush medicines — except when specifically instructed by the label.

Do throw in the trash

The American Pharmacists Association recommends steps for safely disposing of pills and liquids — steps that will help prevent their misuse or accidental ingestion by children or pets:

  • Keep the medicines in their original container. This will help identify the contents if they are accidentally ingested.
  • Cross out your name and prescription number for safety.
  • For pills: add some salt water to start dissolving them. For liquids: add something inedible like cat litter, dirt or ash.
  • Seal the container and secure with duct or packing tape.
  • Put the container in the trash as close to pickup time as possible. Do not put in the recycle bin.

To learn more, check the county’s Chemicals and Drugs in the Water page.