Opioid Disposal Information and Resources
Why should I dispose of my opioids?
We recommend disposing of your unused opioids as soon as you finish taking it. 115 people die each day in the US from opioid-related overdoses – that is more than the number of people killed in car accidents or by guns.
Opioids are often involved in accidental poisonings and intentional misuse.
- Every 10 minutes a child visits the emergency room for medication poisoning
- 12.5 million people age 12 and older misused opioids in the last year
- Three in five teens say prescription pain medication is easy to get from their parents’ medicine cabinet
How do I dispose of my opioids?
Approved opioid collectors, primarily pharmacies and law enforcement agencies, and special take-back events are the safest way of disposing unneeded medications. While flushing your unused opioids is preferable to keeping them in your home, we recommend safe disposal at an approved opioid collector.
You can find an approved opioid collector near you on our Opioid Disposal Map.
If you cannot get to a drive or an authorized opioid collector, you can safely dispose pills in your household trash by following the below steps:
Step 1: Remove medicine from original container and mix (do not crush) with an unpalatable substance such as kitty litter or used coffee grounds.
Step 2: Place mixture in a sealed bag or container.
Step 3: Throw sealed bag or container in household trash.
Step 4: Scratch out personal information on prescription label and dispose original medicine container.