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How to Dispose of Unused or Expired Medications

This shop has been compensated by Inmar Intelligence and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ConsumerDrugTakeBackSantaBarbara

Growing up my mom was always very eco-conscious so making
choices that were better for the environment was part of my
upbringing. I can remember learning from a very young age the importance of proper disposal of many kinds of items, how to
sort recyclables, and finding centers to get rid of those items appropriately. This is something that I've also carried into adulthood.

Many of us have unused or expired medications in our homes so we take time at the beginning of each year to go through our cabinets to do our part to responsibly discard those.

Unfortunately, most dispose of unused medications improperly by flushing them down the toilet or the drain which pollutes water with pharmaceutical chemicals.
Another common method is throwing them in the garbage which can lead to retrieval by other parties or eventually end up in landfills.This is dangerous for both people and wildlife resulting in drug diversion, drugs getting into the wrong hands causing an accidental overdose, or abuse by others. Per the CDC, this is becoming a growing concern due to the opioid crisis in the United States.

The statistics are daunting:

  • More than 263,000 people have lost their lives from prescription opioid overdoses since 1991
  • Every 7mins someone loses their life to an overdose
  • 46M people are exposed to trace amounts of pharmaceuticals in drinking water
  • 51% of misused prescriptions are given, bought, or taken from a relative
  • 18M people in the US over the age of 12 have misused medications at least once in the past year

How can I help to properly dispose of unused or outdated medications?

The LifeInCheck Consumer Drug Take-Back ™ program was created in an effort to help reduce disposal issues as well as bring awareness to the massive opioid crisis that is plaguing many families. This program provides consumers with a safe and convenient option to discard unused or outdated prescription medications at secure kiosks located across the US or by mail at no-cost.

How do I find a disposal location near me?

LifeInCheck Consumer Drug Take-Back ™ created an online tool that is easy to use to find the disposal options available near you. Simply enter your zip code and it will return a list of safe disposal options in your area or alternative options (i.e. mail-back services or information for local take-back events).

Additionally, if you are in California and have any Sharps to dispose of please visit or call 1-888-371-0717 to request a free pre-addressed and prepaid sharps container.

Now that I found a kiosk, what do I need to know before I visit?

Visiting a LifeInCheck Consumer Drug Take-Back ™ kiosk is
simple, but before you go it is important to remove your personal information or dispose of bottles or packaging
where that information is present. When you arrive, each
receptacle clearly states the type of medications that are
accepted and those that are not accepted at each location.
Take a few moments to confirm that your medications meet
the kiosk requirements, open the door, and drop them in!
It’s that easy!

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is coming on 4/22/23 so make sure you visit to find a location near you!

Thank you in advance for doing your part to help protect your family and our communities!