How to dispose of prescription drugs safely

dispose prescription drugs Friday, October 02, 2020

Those leftover drugs from an injury or illness can be dangerous. You know the ones just sitting in your medicine cabinet? It's time to get rid of them before they harm adults or children in your home.

About 46,000 Americans die each year from drug-related causes. And drugs prescribed by a doctor are often involved.

  • More than half of teens who abuse prescription medicine get it from a family member or friend. This includes the home medicine cabinet. 
  • A recent study found most American teenagers who abused prescription painkillers began taking the drugs for medical reasons.

Note that some medications are dangerous to flush down the toilet. You can get a list of meds approved for flushing and learn more about properly disposing medications.

Another option to dispose of prescription drugs is National Drug Take Back Day. Approved U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) locations take unused medicine year-round. The Washington Poison Center lists locations where you can dispose of prescription drugs anytime. 

“Prescription medication can help treat and manage health conditions,” said Premera's Chad Murphy. “But it also can pose significant safety risks. Take Back Day is a great way to protect all of us, including our kids.


The FDA site provides information on other safe ways to get rid of old drugs.

Helping customers understand how to dispose of prescription drugs safely is just one part of Premera’s efforts to prevent addiction and accidental overdoses. Learn more about our policies regarding opioid prescriptions for those who may have never taken this type of painkiller.

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