Skip to main content
Michigan OPEN

Safe Disposal

Managing unused, unwanted, and expired medications is a safety and environmental concern. While flushing opioids down the toilet may seem like a safe option, this can lead to pharmaceuticals being discharged into our surface water and groundwater. There are simple and safer alternatives, like take-back events and local disposal sites.

Why dispose?

Protecting your family and your community is the number one reason to safely dispose of your medications.

  • Every 10 minutes a child visits the emergency room for medication poisoning
  • Three in five teens say prescription medication is easy to get from their parents’ medicine cabinet
  • 12.5 million people ages 12 and older have misused opioids in the past year


How to safely dispose of opioids

You can make a positive difference for your loved ones and community by following these steps for opioid disposal:

  • Find a year-round approved opioid collector near you with our interactive Opioid Disposal Map
  • Find and attend a take-back event in your community
  • Use your household trash only as a last resort:
    1. Mix opioids (do not crush) with used coffee grounds or kitty litter in a plastic bag and throw in household trash.
    2. Scratch out personal information on prescription labels and dispose of original medicine containers.

Receive a Fully-Funded Medication Disposal Box

Michigan OPEN is offering an opportunity to implement permanent medication disposal boxes in Michigan communities to promote safe disposal of unused medications. These permanent disposal boxes will give communities a safe and accessible place to dispose of unused medications and help prevent potential misuse or accidental overdose.

To learn more about this opportunity and apply to OPEN’s grant program to fund a Sustainable Medication Disposal Box in your community, click here to view and download the application form.

Applications due July 1, 2022.