When leftover or expired drugs are thrown in the trash, in the toilet, or down the drain, they end up in landfills, sewage systems, or wastewater treatment facilities that are not equipped to remove them. From there, they enter our waterways, where they threaten wildlife and the quality of our drinking water. When stored in the home long term, they can fall into the wrong hands – leading to drug abuse, misuse, or accidental poisonings and contributing to the prescription drug abuse epidemic. In fact, seven out of 10 people who abuse prescription drugs get them from friends and family, often from medicine cabinets.
Drug “take-back” programs that let people conveniently drop off unused drugs for safe disposal are a key strategy to help prevent these problems. See below for resources on how to dispose of your old meds in Missouri and materials to help promote drug take-back programs.
Resources: How to Dispose of Leftover Medications
Fact Sheet: Got Leftover Medicine? A Resource for Missouri
Social Media Resources: Promoting Proper Disposal
The resources below can be downloaded and used to promote proper disposal of medications via social media. These materials include social media graphics, a video, and recommended social media content language.
Other Helpful Links
- See resources from our October 2020 Pharmaceuticals Summit including agenda, notes, slides, and participants.
- See Springfield’s Guidance on Disposal of Sharps/Needles & Pharmaceuticals Generated by Households for more information.
- To be most effective, drug-take back programs must be sustainably funded and available to consumers year round. The Product Stewardship Institute has advocated for extended producer responsibility (EPR) laws that make drug companies pay for and manage drug take-back programs since 2005. They have led the charge to change federal law and the associated Drug Enforcement Administration regulations to let retail pharmacies collect controlled substances, allowing them to host convenient drug take-back programs for their customers.